4 Ways to Protect Your Business Online

Every business takes on risk. There’s healthy risk and unhealthy risk. Your risk management plan should include a plan to protect your business from computer attack, also referred to as cyber-attacks, because those attacks from one of the top five unhealthy business risks.

On a daily basis, threats to your business computers come from hackers, script kiddies and nation-state actors. Thousands of computer attacks occur each day. You can protect your business though using the basic tools of cybersecurity, enumerated in your computer security plan. Any network can use these hardware and software technologies to protect itself. Here are the most common four ways to protect your business online.

Complex Passwords

Passwords have become such a ubiquitous feature of daily life that most people no longer think of them as a security tool. They comprise the first line of defense to unwanted access though. You can make passwords a powerful feature of online business security by requiring complex passwords or pass phrases. At a minimum, each user should be required to create a password with at least one capital letter, lower case letter, number and special character of at least eight characters in length. Also, use a script to test passwords at their creation to ensure that common words or phrases are not used. The tougher the password, the tougher it makes it for a cracker to hack it.

Two-Factor Authentication

Use two-factor authentication as another way to help ensure the safety of your online business and its customers. This process requires the user to provide a second confirmation of identity after entering their password. Commonly, the system sends either a text message to the user’s cell phone or an e-mail to their verified e-mail account. This message includes a temporary, single-use password that the user enters into a second security screen on the business’ website.

Secure Software

To secure an online business, implement security-related software programs including anti-virus/anti-malware software, encryption software, firewalls and software patches for programs on computers and servers not in the cloud. Cloud software automatically updates so manually patch installation isn’t needed. Anti-virus and anti-malware help your business in monitoring for ransomware, trojans and other network threats.

Incorporating Netflow

Finally, use security information and event management (SIEMs) to analyze netflow, a selection of network data. In netflow analysis, the networking equipment summarizes IP activity information from packet headers and transmits and processes it on a different device.

Hackers target small businesses because they’re more vulnerable. They do not usually have computer security personnel, nor have they invested heavily in computer security. By 2013, the number of small businesses targeted in hacks rose 61 percent. Of the hacked businesses, 60 percent shut down within six months. Rather than take a reactionary approach to computer security, take the proactive approach. Using complex passwords, two-factor authentication, secure software for monitoring for ransomware and trojans, and netflow analysis, you can protect your business from computer attacks online. You can protect your online business from attack using simple, low-cost methods.

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