Small businesses and start-ups face many challenges in the modern business environment. Unfortunately, these challenges are not limited to securing sales and retaining customers. One of the biggest challenges modern businesses face is the threat of hacking. Hacking is no longer a phenomenon limited to big corporations. Any business can get hacked these days. Hackers do not just steal company secrets; they also steal customer data, like credit card information. Such a hack can certainly ruin your business.
Regardless of the size of your enterprise, you must have at least the basic security measures in place. There is no magic tool available that can prevent a hacking attack. However, the damage done by a hack can certainly be minimized by taking certain cyber security measures. Here are several tips that will safeguard your company against online hacking attacks:
Buy Security Software
First of all, your company should have security software like antivirus programs and web based password manager software. Yes, most start-ups are cash strapped and these software may not come cheap. However, they are necessary. Companies offer securitysoftware at affordable rates for start-ups and small businesses. Take advantage of these. Do not skimp on investing in security software. Your business might pay for it later in an unfortunate manner.
Have an Online Security Policy
When you begin to hire employees, your business should have a company security policy that all employees must adhere to. This security policy should articulate the necessary precautions each employee must obey in order to ensure the network is not vulnerable to attacks. For example, a security policy may require employees to change their password every month. Draft a security policy with advice from experts for the best impact.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication for Accounts
Along with demanding strong passwords that are not easy for a hacker to guess, also enable two-factor authentication for all user accounts at the company. This will prevent an attack even if the password gets stolen by some other means. Two-factor authentication is extremely important for cloud-based software the employee might use.
Run Background Checks on Tech Employees
Some hacks are initiated because employees collaborate with hackers. Therefore, it won’t hurt to run background checks on your employees, especially the ones who will be handling IT matters. You must be able to trust your IT team with any task.
Use Encrypted Data Transmission
When you transfer data files through the net, make sure the method you use involves encryption. Hackers cannot decrypt data encrypted using a method like 256-bit AES. Therefore, make sure encryption is enabled in the types of software the company uses.
Disable Downloads on Office Computers
The most common way company networks get breached is through downloads from the web. Therefore, don’t allow your employees to download whatever they like off the web. Have your IT team supervise all downloads. You can eliminate the need for these download by making all necessary software available on all computers.
Additionally, don’t allow strange devices to be plugged into the office computers. USB sticks and other such devices can create holes in your network, so hackers can easily pass through later. Also, keep all web browsers up to date with the latest security software. Visit only trusted sites on office computers.
Once you implement the above cyber security tips, yourstart-up or small business will be less vulnerable to online security threats.