Operating an online business is a complex task. However, if one does not put safety first, all the other efforts might as well be in vain. Cybercrime should not be taken lightly, since most business operations nowadays take place online, from offers and presentations of goods and services to financial transactions.
Thriving technology presents a constant temptation for cyber-criminals who work day and night to surpass all obstacles to the valuable information set before them. It is, in fact, a vicious cycle – whenever there is a security breach, software engineers do their best to improve the system and hackers do their best to crash it. Since it is of utmost importance that we stay up to date with latest security trends, here are a few valuable tips on how to protect your online business.
Why is it so important?
There are numerous aspects you should consider when it comes to your company’s safety. An online business obtains a vast amount of personal information from its clients, such as their emails, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card data. Hackers are after the money, but very often they will try and steal personal information for the purposes of identity theft.
They might even be inclined to perform actions in order to ruin the reputation of the business in question or block ongoing operations in order to extort financial compensation to resolve the problem. All of the aforementioned just emphasizes the importance of cyber-safety, the extent of which might make or break your business.
One of the most effective ways to put a stop to cybercrime is geo-filtering (geo-restrictions). This particular system is designed to block network connections based on geographic locations.
Some countries have been statistically proven to yield more cyberattacks than others, so the system will prevent traffic coming from those specific locations. The list of such countries includes China, Russia, Turkey, Taiwan and Brazil, and unless you have clients there, preventing access to your network should improve the safety of your business.
Geo-filtering is a relatively new practice, but many have already included it in their network of protection. Resonating names such as Amazon, Netflix and Hulu are already using geo-restrictions, as well as companies that operate with frequent and large transactions. Keep in mind that a VPN client may circumvent this kind of protection program.
Malicious software (or malware) has the sole purpose of sneaking into your system without you being aware of it. Should this happen, it causes much damage to your data and your machine, so it is advisable to take necessary precautions. Having a functioning firewall is essential, although it often isn’t enough. Additional security software which will not hinder the overall performance of your machine will come in handy.
Shockingly, 50% of all emails sent fall into the spam category, which in itself is a security threat. Malicious attachments included in these kinds of emails are actually ransomware which enters your system and increases the possibility of security attacks. In order to prevent this from happening, it is advisable to refrain from subscribing to unreliable mailing lists and clicking on suspicious links. Always scan your attachments, regularly clean your email and use antispam software.
Take your time while thinking of a password, since their strength is an invaluable feature when it comes to protecting your network. A strong password is lengthy and diverse in characters, which means you should try to incorporate at least eight characters, preferably with numbers and special characters. This helps stop basic guessing attacks.
Many tend to use simple passwords, write them down on pieces of paper at accessible places or store them on their mobile devices. Not only will this kind of practice put the company at risk, but the customers as well. The strongest passwords are not words at all, but random sequences of letters, numbers and special characters. Since they should be changed frequently, and not put in obvious places, there are secure password managers available to remember them for you. This, in turn, encourages people to take cyber safety more seriously.
Separate payment terminal network
This is an area most prone to cyberattacks. If you separate your payment terminal network from your general store network, you reduce the risk of theft. Unfortunately, hackers most often find their way to valuable data through your employees. They will infect their emails and infiltrate their machines, gaining access to the payment terminal and doing, very often, irreparable damage.
However, a terminal on a separate network means that you have minimized the risk of being compromised. Considering the fact that only a few people will have authorization to it, hackers are more likely to target more accessible points of entry.
Online business is here to stay, and it will continue to evolve, improve and lure cybercriminals who wish to compromise its operations. However, staying on top of recent developments in security technology is a way to ensure the safety of your operations as well as a thriving and profitable business.
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