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Thousands of cybersecurity attacks take place every day. Even worse, the threat of an attack only seems to go up with each passing year. As recently as 2020, the SolarWinds cyberattack debacle showed just how hifalutin these data security attacks can be. In that particular event, hackers broke into government agencies and major tech companies and spent months trolling around undetected.
The point is, great or small, it’s always smart to do your homework when it comes to cybersecurity—especially if you own a small business. As such, you may consider yourself a small target when it comes to your data security. But hackers manage to find time to get around to the Davids as well as the Goliaths.
With that in mind, here are a few basic steps every entrepreneur should take to secure their company’s data.
1. Establish a Dependable Internet Connection for Greater Data Security
Security for your data starts with your internet connection. If a hacker gets control of your router, they’re free to wander within your network. This has made a quality internet connection an essential step in securing data.
You can establish a dependable connection by using the right router. This is important whether your staff is working within an on-site network or your team is laboring remotely on their home fronts. Either way, make sure your routers are guarding your employees rather than exposing them.
Start by choosing a company that makes quality hardware and maintains cutting-edge software for its devices. For example, Plume WorkPass offers small businesses AI-powered data security with its adaptive Wi-Fi system, providing quality connectivity and protection for their customers.
In addition to choosing the right company, choose a router that:
- Uses encryption technology that is best-in-class.
- Has a built-in network security option.
- Installs patches without help and self-updates without oversight.
- Allows you to see who is on your network at any given moment.
- Provides easy-to-understand reports regarding any security incidents that may occur.
Many internet options come with a “black box” mentality. In other words, the business itself is kept in the dark about how its router is being used. If you want to be secure, it’s important to find a Wi-Fi solution that gives you both security and control.
2. Utilize Security Software
A good router is an excellent initial line of defense for data security, but you can’t stop there. It’s also important to find good cybersecurity solutions for each and every device that your business uses. Protect everything from desktops to laptops, tablets, and phones.
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of antivirus software that can keep your team’s devices clean. Some are free, but if you want to have the best protection it’s wise to invest in a paid solution. That way you can expect cutting-edge, consistent software protection at all times.
3. Protect Your Website
It doesn’t matter what kind of product or service you offer. If you have a business two decades into the 21st century, there’s a good chance that you also have a website. As such, it’s important that you take steps to protect that site from hackers. If you operate an e-commerce site that receives orders and processes payments, this is even more important to address.
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There are several ways that you can improve your e-commerce data security, such as:
- Using HTTPS to secure and authenticate your site.
- Choosing an e-commerce site builder with a high reputation.
- Ensuring that both front- and back-end site users have good passwords.
- Avoiding the need to keep any user data that isn’t necessary.
- Finding a good third-party website monitor.
- Using a trusted third-party option to process payments.
It’s important that you make an effort to go above and beyond basic compliance with your e-commerce site.
4. Update and Use Strong Passwords for Better Data Security
One of the easiest ways to maintain cybersecurity is to keep all of your devices updated. Updates often come with crucial security patches that can keep your data protected from threats. This applies to everything from smartphones to laptops and even routers.
While this is simple in theory, though, it can be a bit more difficult to execute in reality. With multiple people working together, it’s hard to be sure that everyone is updating their devices in a timely manner. Remote teams that are operating from isolated locations can make this even more challenging. Whenever possible, turn on auto-updates on devices and encourage your team to manually review their devices for updates as well.
Along with staying updated, when it comes to data security it’s also wise to use passwords correctly. This includes creating strong passwords, managing them well, and swapping them out often.
5. Back Everything Up
All of the suggestions thus far aim at preserving existing online content. However, even with everything perfectly in place, you can never be 100% certain that you won’t have a data security breach.
That’s where backups come into play. Take the time to establish a clear and consistent backup policy for your business activities. From remote cloud-based backup options to physical hard drives (kept in fire-proof safes off-site), there are multiple ways to back up data. This provides a nuclear option if you find that your data is compromised.
6. Train Your Employees—Continually
All of the above activities can help you set up a secure business network at any given moment in time. However, if you want that security to last and protect your data for the long term, you have to foster a sense of buy-in from your team as well.
RELATED ARTICLE: HOW MUCH DO YOUR EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT CYBERSECURITY?
This starts with creating a clear and updated cybersecurity policy for workers. This should lay out all of your company’s cybersecurity measures, from passwords to updates, routers, and security software.
Along with setting clear standards, it’s also important to take the time to train your employees. Stress the importance of cybersecurity and help them stay aware of the latest security techniques. A smart staff that is well-versed in cybersecurity is more valuable than any piece of software.
From a quality router to backups, e-commerce protection, antivirus software, updates, passwords, and employee training, there are many ways to provide security for your business data. Taking the time to implement these security measures is no longer a luxury, either. It’s a necessity. With attacks taking place at a staggering pace, it’s never too late to invest in protecting your company’s online presence.
So review the list, choose your weakest links, and start protecting your company’s data. You’ll be glad you did so the first time a hacker shows up on your virtual doorstep looking for a way into your operation.