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8 Tips for Shielding Your Business from Cybersecurity Threats

June 10, 2022

Cyber-attacks can threaten any business, big or small.

All it takes is one data breach to destroy your business’s reputation and compromise your customers’ personal and financial information, so prioritizing your company’s security is a must.

By implementing these strategies, you can protect your business from any cybersecurity threat to help ensure your business can continue growing and serving customers for years to come.

  1. Acquire a Secure Sockets Layers certificate for data encryption

A Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) certificate is a must for your company’s website as it encrypts all data sent to your website’s servers.

When you have a website that requires a customer’s personal or financial information, you must prioritize the security of such sensitive information, whether it is credit card information to complete a purchase or their email address for lead generation.

Since acquiring an SSL certificate is vital, Google has begun using it as a ranking factor for search results, so without one, you risk losing out on potential customers.

  1. Immediately update CMS, plugins, and themes

Most websites use a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress. Although using such a system may make running your website more efficient, it can also make you vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

The more plugins and themes you use on your website, the more likely you fall victim to a hacker. However, you can protect your business from these threats by immediately updating your CMS, plugins, and themes the moment they become available.

Additionally, ensure you avoid using public Wi-Fi to access your CMS because it is not secure and lacks data encryption.

  1. Regularly conduct malware scans and vulnerability assessments

When you make it a habit to run malware scans and vulnerability assessments, you reduce the risk of falling victim to a cybersecurity threat and the damage that can result from a threat going undetected for a long time.

Conducting such scans and assessments will make it possible to detect and remove malware and any outdated plugins susceptible to hackers.

You can make running a vulnerability test simple by using a scanning tool to find your site’s weak points. It is vital to run these assessments regularly because what was once secure may no longer be safe, and you would not be aware of the risk without it.

  1. Implement two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a simple way to double your website’s security because it will require more than a simple password for someone to gain access to the backend of your website.

Instead, you can have a verification code sent to a user’s email or phone number to verify the person attempting to log in is the account owner.

You can implement this extra layer of security by using a plugin, like Google Authenticator, for your website.

  1. Use and manage passphrases

A passphrase is a password that uses phrases or multiple words, making them longer in most cases and harder for hackers to guess.

It is ideal to use passphrases to safeguard the devices and networks that hold sensitive business or personal information.

To create a secure passphrase, ensure that it is long (at least 14-20 characters), complex (use capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters), unpredictable, and unique.

Also, use a different passphrase for each login to avoid putting all your accounts at risk should someone discover it.

  1. Keep an eye on computer equipment and systems

Your company must keep a log of all the computer equipment and software it utilizes.

The more software and equipment you have, the more susceptible you are to a cybersecurity threat. Thus, regularly remove unused software and equipment, but ensure you wipe any sensitive information before doing so.

Completing such a task also requires your employees to be mindful of where they keep their devices, the networks they connect to, and the portable hard drives or USB sticks they use.

However, you must also remove access from past employees or when an employee changes roles to ensure your systems and equipment do not become vulnerable.

  1. Teach your staff to be careful online

In most cases, hackers target your employees to access your networks and systems.

You can avoid such a threat by teaching them how to keep strong passphrases, identify a cyber threat, and control and report a cyber threat.

Ensuring your staff knows how to prevent, identify, and report cyber threats will help ensure your business remains safe.

  1. Safely dispose of old devices and media

Prior to donating or trashing old devices and media, you must wipe all sensitive information from the hard drive, including removing data from CDs and flash drives.

Doing so will ensure no one can gain access to the data on these devices.

Also, use a crosscut shredder or incinerator before getting rid of any paper documents to ensure no one finds information in the garbage that can make your business vulnerable to a hacker.

Protecting your business and customers from cybersecurity threats is absolutely necessary.

Without taking the proper precautions, you risk your company’s reputation and compromising your customers’ personal information, possibly leading to your company closing its doors indefinitely.

However, you can avoid such a disaster by implementing these eight best practices.

 

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