The advancements in modern communication and information technologies play a crucial role in enabling businesses and organizations to innovate, expand the scope of their market and increase efficiencies that are of great value to clients and the society at large. This is not to say that businesses have a fair ride because of these advancements in technology. Businesses’ policies and practices face a significant challenge of adapting to an insecure internet’s direct and indirect effects. The cyber threat is one of the major problems that businesses are facing today.
The rate of cyber-attacks that target both small and large enterprises has skyrocketed, especially in the recent past. Almost every day, we hear it in the press of malicious intruders breaching data belonging to businesses, seemingly at will and with a lot of ease. According to Statista, the United States witnessed 1,244 data breaches in 2018 that resulted in the exposure of 446.5 million records. Businesses are now at the risk of an increased number of cyber-attacks such as intrusion software, exploit kits, malware attacks, and code injections. Hackers are increasingly using sophisticated and smart techniques to breach into business systems. Every business owner should install proper measures to help in the fight against cyber threats. There are many excellent articles and resources available that provide complete enlightenment on top cybersecurity threats. However, appropriate resources to help businesses manage their digital resources and stay safe from cyber risks are scarce. This article is of great essence to both small and large business owners. It will provide an appropriate guide in developing a suitable digital security risk management strategy and explain how you can achieve data protection over the internet.
1: Manage the Risks of Internal Threats
It is essential to understand that your enterprise faces not only external cyber risks but also internal risks. As such, ensure that you manage internal risks. Some of the worst data breaches that can hit your business are those that are brewed from inside. Never trust anybody within your business with your vital information. Individuals in your organizations might be corrupt and might take advantage of your business resources from the comfort of their offices. Some of the risks might also result from mistakes from your employees. The point is to understand that your digital security could be compromised from within your business’s confinements.
2: Protect Your Business with an SSL Certificate
Your business carries a lot of your hard work and perseverance. You probably invested a lot of capital and time to ensure that the business is a success. What if I tell you that all your hard work can be brought down in just seconds? I am not discouraging you. I am being sincere with you and telling you to be cautious. If you do not take the proper steps, you are bound to fail.
One of the perfect measures that have proved effective in safeguarding businesses from intruders is the SSL certificate. The certificate plays a vital encryption role, and it is the answer to how to protect your data and identity online. Without an SSL certificate, your business and your clients’ communication will remain out in the open and unguarded. It means that any malicious party or intruder will be at liberty to steal the information sent back and forth. This puts your visitors’ data and information in great jeopardy and in the jaws of hungry cyber attackers.However, with an SSL certificate, the communication is fully encrypted, and only the intended recipient who carries the key to decrypt the information will be able to do so. Moreover, SSL certificates do not just play the encryption role. It is a great asset in protecting your network from attacks such as Man in The Middle attacks and third-party content injection. Do not hesitate and wait until it is too late. Just find a cheap SSL certificate to provide the level of encryption that your business much deserves. You can then later find an advanced certificate that offers other benefits when you have the financial muscles to purchase one.
3: Implement Access Controls
Access control is a cyber-security technique that controls what or who can access digital resources. Access controls are a super-security strategy that you should adopt to minimize cyber breaches’ risks to your business. This technique’s primary goal is to reduce the risks and cyber threats that might occur due to unauthorized access.
There are two types of access controls—the physical access control, limiting access to physical locations where the digital resources are stored. Logical access controls restrict access to computer files and networks. One concept that will always remain important in the access control technique is the least privilege principle. According to this concept, a user is given the minimum level of access to digital resources that he/she needs to fulfill his job requirements. The principle is considered to be of high value in protecting business assets against data loss. You should apply this principle if you want to protect your business from insecurity threats. Ensure that those employees who have no business with information or a digital resource do not get to access that information.
4: Invest in Employee Training and Awareness Program
You now understand that your employees are a risk to your digital security. Investing in an employee training and awareness program will help minimize the internal dangers that your employees might cause. The program will ensure that all the stakeholders who have access to your digital resources know their responsibilities to handle and safeguard their digital resources from security vulnerabilities. Without proper training and awareness, your employees will easily overlook the necessary security measures and become the loopholes through which hackers will breach your business. The program will also establish a security culture throughout your organization. You can also use the training program to pass your security messages to your employees and warn ill-motive stakeholders who might be having fishy thoughts of stealing your security resources. Furthermore, the program can be used to reiterate the basic security practices, skills, and attributes that your employees should be aware of.
5: Password Security
Passwords are the means through which you access your business accounts. You want to know how to keep data safe and secure? Well, that is simple, use a unique and robust password, and you will be able to enhance and protect your privacy online. Strong passwords will withstand any attempts, such as brute force attacks that aim to get past them. Weak passwords have been major culprits behind the occurrence of some of the worst data breaches. A survey by Netcraft shows that 42% of company breaches in 2019 resulted from weak passwords. The only way you can remain safe is by enhancing your business’s digital resources by following the best password practices. While creating a password, ensure that you are creative. Avoid using common words that one can easily guess. Lastly, avoid recycling your passwords. Using one password for multiple accounts gives hackers an easy time. All a hacker will need to do is identify the password, and he will be at liberty to compromise your numerous accounts.
6: Be particular with software updates.
Cyber threats are quickly evolving, and so are cybersecurity tools. Each time the tech experts discover a loophole in software, they will act with speed to seal the loophole and release a new version of the software. Conducting regular system upgrades whenever they are released equals strengthening your security walls. New software versions come with improved security features. For this reason, ensure that you continuously carry out those software upgrades.
7: File Back-ups
The measures I have discussed in this article are not full proof. They do not guarantee immunity from cyber breaches. There will be a time when you will be a victim of a data breach. The question is how you will get your business running despite the security breach. It is the backup file that you will run to in case of a cyber-breach. Conducting data backup shields your business from the adverse effects of a successful breach or data loss.
Data breaches are so widespread these days. Businesses are the primary targets as they hold money and data that hackers want. If you are running a business but do not have proper security measures to safeguard against cyber threats, you are treading on the wrong path, a path that is full of hackers. Ensure that you incorporate these measures to prevent any form of security breaches.