By Akuma .I Martins
The rising prevalence of hacking and use of malware to acquire sensitive information and/or personal data from unsuspecting target have made companies and businesses buckle up and make IT security a top priority, especially considering the recent hacks of LinkedIn, Yahoo, and even Apple. In line with this, below are 7 ways to help you protect your business from online threats.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is essential for IT security considering the fact that most business interactions and transactions happen online. VPNs help to add an additional level of security by encrypting your connection, concealing your traffic and hiding your IP address. They help to better protect your business from malicious hackers. They are different selections of VPN offering different levels of services, you should be sure to consider this so you can make informed selections based on your business needs.
Have a Network with Multiple Layers of Security
In truth, there is no guarantee or assurance that you can prevent all malicious attacks, but you can make sure you have a basic defense in place to decrease the probability of such malicious attacks. One of these ways is to incorporate multiple layers of security into your network by using a combination of anti-virus and anti-spyware, VPNs, Firewall and an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).
Have a Secure Web Server
You should ensure you have a secure web server because websites are one of the main gateways for cyber-attacks into your network. You should ensure you encrypt your web server systems and applications, and conduct periodic software updates and upgrades as needed.
Educate Your Employees
Retail data hacks, mobile security and smartphone vulnerability threats, phishing attacks and identity thefts have continued to soar in recent times. As a precaution, you should educate your employees on the use of mobile devices to access company data network. You can also set up VPNs for public Wi-Fi access to secure communication channels. Additionally, privacy filters should be provided, anti-virus software should be installed on the computers of all employees and regularly updated, and your employees should be instructed not to open suspicious emails, especially those requesting re-entering of sensitive data or passwords. In all, you should ensure you define to your employees what is considered acceptable IT behavior the workplace and educate them on how to deal with potential security threats.
A BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy gives you less control over your business’s data security. It makes it more difficult to keep your business safe from the constant stream of online threats. It is advisable to change such a policy and provide the devices for your employees, it might seem like a lot of extra work and money spent, but in the end it is well worth it.
Enforce a Security Policy and Monitor Online Activities
You should enforce strict security policies to help you set boundaries on employees’ access and use of IT resources. Internet security should typically involve imposing restrictions on sharing and downloading non-work related files and visiting inappropriate websites. You should outline required practice for things like user account and email management.
To monitor employee online activities, you should first let them know about any monitoring practices. This can be done through your security policy. You should employ employee monitoring solutions like tracking websites visited by employees; recording keystrokes and automatically sending the logs to a centralized, web-based console; using software that blocks inappropriate websites and other online resources etc.
Have Disaster Response and Recovery Plans
To have a good security framework you must always have a contingency plan to address security breaches. The plan should typically involve methods to re-secure networks and recover lost or compromised data.