You sign the back of your business credit cards, you invested in an alarm system and you lock your doors at night. But the biggest threats to your business may not be around the corner – they are more likely to come from the Internet.
As many as 1 million new malware threats are unleashed on the Internet every day. Recent events have shown that companies of all sizes, even Target and Home Depot, can fall victim to hackers. One of the biggest problems is that hackers have gotten extremely sophisticated and can move quicker than companies can respond. That means taking preventative measures to protect all of your online assets is more important than ever.
Fortunately, the best solutions for safeguarding your business against cyber hackers are among the easiest.
#1 Ways to Protect Your VoIP Systems
More businesses are moving to cloud-based phone systems because they offer advanced calling features, more manageability, increased flexibility and better affordability. These systems can also track caller data and store information on all of your calls. When data is available that means it’s a target for cyber attackers.
Many of the threats depend on how you use your phones, particularly mobile phones that hook into WiFi hotspots. However, hackers could potentially eavesdrop on VoIP conversations and malware could affect VoIP connections through the computer. Because your cloud-based phone system is a partnership, the most important thing is to find a VoIP company that can overcome these threats. VoIP providers can help mitigate risks with secure data handling procedures, private servers, physical security at data centers, advanced software security, firewalls and password security measures.
#2 Ways to Protect Your Computers
The number one observation that came out of Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report was that the majority of hacks into computers came from malware based on old viruses. Companies are failing to address these old bugs and patch up systems so they’re protected. If your IT team remotely links into office computers the company is at even greater risk.
Takeaway: If you don’t have the manpower to look into security weaknesses and patch them, then hire someone to do it. Given that 90% of attacks come from existing malware, your company will be better protected now and into the future.
#3 Ways to Protect Your Website
The majority of today’s businesses rely on well-designed websites to compete and increase revenue. But what’s on the backend can be even more important than what users see.
Websites can be extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks. It’s gotten to the point that bots, automated applications that go out and scan websites looking for weaknesses, outnumber visitors. A web scanning service is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect a website. The service will immediately alert you the second something phishy happens so that you can take swift action and avoid disruptions.
The information provided by scanners can also help you patch problems and improve weaknesses so that future attacks are less likely. Just make sure the service provide scans regularly so issues are detected right away.
#4 Ways to Protect Your Email
For individuals, many email cyber attacks are an inconvenience that fortunately lead to nothing more. For businesses, a cyber attack can mean lost revenue, stolen proprietary information and compromised customer data that erodes trust. Just look at what happened to Sony in 2014.
Emails are one of the most common hangouts for hackers online. Hackers will get inside to steal identities, insider information and take over accounts. If they’re able to take over any of your accounts, they’ll then send out spam to your entire contact list trying to gain access to their information too. They can also completely wipe your email accounts clean and lock you out of your own emails.
The best way to prevent this is remarkably easy – better password practices. Set company guidelines for creating strong passwords on business email accounts. Best practices include:
- · Don’t use your name, location, birthday, etc.
- · Use uppercase and lowercase letters
- · Use symbols and punctuation
- · Use numbers
- · Make the password more than seven characters
- · Opt in for double authentication whenever possible
All employees also need to create a unique password for their business email that isn’t used anywhere else. This will prevent hackers from finding login information elsewhere that will allow them access into your business email account.