If you do any business at all online – and most of us do – then I hope you are looking into the right protection. There are hundreds – if not thousands – of genuine threats out there that could result in your business going under. And, even if you manage to stay afloat, losing customer data can be incredibly embarrassing. It’s a PR disaster that you might never recover from. Today, I wanted to highlight some of the most dangerous issues you need to make yourself aware of. Let’s get started right away.
Theft of devices
The increase in remote working for businesses has been a fantastic boost for businesses of all kinds. But it isn’t without its threats. A stolen or lost laptop can easily end up in the wrong hands – and the consequences for companies can be enormous. Customer data, employee records, sensitive information – the list is endless. If you are enjoying the benefits of remote working in your business, ensure you are also taking security seriously. Any data that you allow off-site should be encrypted, so it is unreadable to anyone without a password. It might not be enough to stop the best hackers out there, but it should give you enough protection for most incidents of theft.
Malware and viruses
Malware and viruses have been around for a long time, but they are still a major threat. They get ever more sophisticated by the year, it seems. If you want to protect your business against malicious code, make sure you take cyber security seriously. Robust systems in place will help, of course, but you also need to train and educate your staff. If everyone is aware of recent examples of malicious codes, Trojan horses, and viruses, they will be able to deal with any suspicious threats.
Your employees are likely to have access to many of your IT systems, from your databases through to your social network accounts. It’s an issue for many reasons. What happens if the employee is disgruntled about the way they are treated? Or what happens if a third party gets them to act as an insider? Your employee might even be approached by blackmailers who want access to your data. As you can imagine, one individual could be responsible for a lot of damage. Make sure that you divide up critical tasks and functions so no one has access to everything. You should also make sure that most employees only get access to your social media accounts, rather than full admin rights.
Easy wireless network access
How secure is your wireless network? If you are a small business, the chances are that you setup the wireless as per your service providers instruction. But you are also more likely to keep your default password. The trouble is, lists of these default passwords are available to anyone in the world who wants them. It means that hackers can often access WiFi whenever and wherever they like. The results can have a serious impact on your business, as once a hacker gets into your online system they can wreak havoc. Change those passwords often, And ensure you are encrypting your network with Wi-Fi Protected Access.
Spam & Phishing
Finally, spam and phishing emails are responsible for so many IT security issues that you will experience them on a daily basis. Some you can spot a mile off. But others are far more hard to see through. In recent years, I have received phishing emails that look like they have come from Barclays, Natwest, and even HMRC. And they can be incredibly convincing. It is essential that every person in your business understands the basics about phishing email. And, why it is so important to be alert when opening emails. While mail providers do a fine job in finding spammy messages, they don’t catch them all. All it takes s for a single click or the entry of a password and it can prove catastrophic to your business.
Don’t underestimate the threat of poor IT security. You might think you are a small business who isn’t of interest to a hacker or criminal. But the truth is that this is how they make their money – and you are every bit a target as the major global corporations. The scary thing is that hackers can gain access to your system, steal data, access money, without you even realising. And before you know it, you could be in serious financial strife and have a PR disaster on your plate.