Even if you aren't doing business online, it would be hard to find a business today that doesn't rely on the Internet or exist on the web in some form. As such, cyber security is an increasing concern for businesses and individuals.
To truly secure all aspects of your operation, you might consider bringing in a professional for an extensive review of your whole system, depending how much business you are doing online and the extent of customer data you keep. But you needn't do anything so extreme. Here are three simple tips.
Start With Education: Inform yourself and employees of the dangers of phishing emails and electronic fraudsters. Hackers try to enter your system to take information or to leave behind bugs and malware for various reasons. These efforts cost businesses millions of dollars a year and can be prevented with care. According to Norman Guadano, chief evangelist at Carbonite, which provides cloud data backup services, "The first step in protecting your data from cyber attacks is educating your employees to make sure they're up to date on the latest methods being used by cybercriminals," he says. "One of the best ways to do this is by creating real life scenarios to test employees' ability to detect a phishing email or suspicious links. This will help you gain insight into common mistakes and identify areas for improvement."
Web Hosting Watch: You may not be a technology expert but that is all the more reason to go with a trusted web hosting service provider and not try your luck with the cheapest to save a buck. There are companies who make their name by ensuring the safety of their services, so that's a safe bet for your small business. "Use only trusted providers for your site's hosting," says Troy Gill, manager, Security Research, AppRiver, which specializes in email and Web security. "Make sure they take security seriously. For example, do they use encryption?"
Regular Password Changes: Although we do have a lot of passwords now and it's hard to keep all the accounts straight, don't ignore the importance of password changes. John Arroyo, a CEO at Arroyo Labs, a digital agency, says that most hacks are actually due to weak passwords and infrequent changes. "Require strong passwords and force them to be changed regularly. This is a low cost method to stay secure," he says.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you're concerned about cyber security or any other aspect of business operations and compliance, speak to a lawyer. Get guidance.