Protecting Your Small Business from Cyberattacks
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time when everyone from business owners to parents of teens can be made more conscious of how to be safer—and protect yourself and your data—from online threats. As a small business owner, you are likely to have customer data and information at your fingertips. How to keep that safe from malicious actors is what we’re going to focus on today. Check out these top tips to help safeguard your business.
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Anyone at your company can fall victim to a phishing attack. These types of scams are just one of the ways bad actors can get into your computers and steal credit card information, classified data, log-in credentials, and much more. Essentially, this type of cyberattack is executed by someone (or thing) acting as a trusted source, such as your own business domain or a client. Sent via email, text, or IM, a phishing scam dupes the recipient into opening a bad link that then installs malware onto your computer system, freezes the system altogether, or gets hold of sensitive data. It’s important that everyone in your company—including you—understands how to identify a possible phishing scam so you don’t end up at the sour end of a data breach.
To add additional security to your employees’ individual work accounts or your business’s computer systems, 2-factor authentication (commonly referred to as 2FA) is the way to go. A user will sign into their account as they usually do, whether that’s with a username and password, work ID, etc. But before they’re allowed full access, they must first prove they are who they say they are. To do so, another piece of information will be required. Your system can send a unique passcode via text or phone call to the number that’s associated with the account, or a push notification can be delivered to that device, asking the device owner to approve or reject the authentication attempt. There are loads of different 2FA forms to investigate implementing at your business.
Let’s face it: we all hate passwords, and we all have hundreds of them stashed away in some notebook that anyone could stumble upon. And chances are these passwords are pretty weak to begin with. Creating unique, super-strong passwords is one of the easiest ways to mitigate a security threat to your business. There are now even websites that will automatically generate complex passwords based on the criteria you provide. It’s basically a no-brainer!
A lot of small businesses will host their websites on shared servers, which is a decidedly cheaper option than dedicated servers. With a shared server, your website exists on the same server as a bunch of others. Sharing digital space with this many other players can open your site up to a host of security issues that could be costly in many ways. Consider hosting your website on a dedicated server, which gives you the flexibility to implement any type of security measures you need. This is particularly important if your website collects credit card information, patient records, or confidential messages.
Keeping your company protected from cyberattacks is critical when running a business. If you’re not already following these tips, take some time to consider how much of an impact they could make in safeguarding your company. And don’t forget to swing by ARF Financial’s blog each week for more great insights, marketing ideas, and info on all things small business. Stay safe out there in the digital space!