While the internet can provide plenty of marketing opportunities for your business, the risks that lurk behind the shadows are many. From fraud to cyber-security cases, if you are not careful enough, your business could easily get affected by these risks. For instance, 1 in every 99 emails contains a targeted phishing attack, meaning that your business is always one click away from a problem.
However, you have to accept that the internet is a double-edged sword. To accentuate its positive aspects and reduce the negative ones, you need to focus on cyber-security. Ideally, working on security policies and buying cyber-security tools can make doing business online safer. Even better, it can help you build a reputation among security-centric stakeholders.
Here are some insights to keep your business safe online:
Table of Contents
Focus On Risk Management
How well do you understand the threats that your business faces on the internet? You can never truly battle a threat that you do not know exists. Formulating a risk management plan ensures that you can define your threat landscape and look for ways to battle these threats.
It also ensures that you can use your business’ resources in the right way, instead of focusing all resources on trivial threats and forgetting the major ones. You should rank the different risks that your business faces and choose solutions based on your risk tolerance.
Keep Systems Up To Date
Hackers always work on ways to circumvent the security tools and software provided by your vendors. A good example of a successful breach is the Wannacry ransomware attacks. While Microsoft had already sent out updates to their systems to prevent businesses from falling prey to this attack, most businesses did not update their systems, leading to huge losses.
Ideally, you need to be aggressive when it comes to keeping systems up to date. Delegate the role of monitoring device updates to specific individuals in your business to ensure accountability. Also, set up ways in which you can get notifications whenever a vendor sends out updates.
Secure Your Network
As long as your corporate networks are left wide open, you will be leaving gaping security loopholes. Cybercriminals can gain access to sensitive information as well as take control of your business operations. Ideally, you should use strategies for securing networks such as setting passwords for wireless networks.
It might also pay to segment your network. Other than increasing the pace of data transmission and communication, a segmented network system reduces the chances of a data breach that affects a single segment to spread to the rest.
Train Your Employees
Your business’ security posture is as strong as your weakest point. A single error from an employee could leave you in trouble. It can be something as innocent as opening an email that contains malware.
Educating employees on the best online security practices is a sure way to ensure they understand the risks your business faces. For instance, you can train employees on how to set up strong passwords as well as identify phishing attacks from miles away. Be sure to make the training sessions lively enough for them. You can use engaging training strategies such as microlearning and gamification, to boost their engagement.
Focus On Access Control
Employees should only access information that will help them do their job. If an employee works in the HR department, they do not have to have full access to financial information. This also applies to vendors who need some access to your business data to work with you.
Ideally, you should use privileged access control to limit the amount of access each individual has in your corporate system. Also, you should have a policy for dealing with the accounts of employees who have been discontinued form your business. If you leave such ghost accounts to lie in your corporate network, it can be pretty easy for disgruntled ex-employees to use them against you.
Fight Shadow IT
While it is a great threat, shadow IT is something that goes unnoticed by most business leaders. Employees typically look for applications or software, that isn’t provided by the business, to help them with their daily activities. Although the software is effective, it comes with the inherent risk of data loss.
For instance, if an unsanctioned and unsecured tool gains access to your network, it will leave your business vulnerable. Even worse, since you do not know the kind of unsanctioned tools the employees are using, it becomes tough to fight the unknown. The first step towards having complete control over your IT assets would be to create policies that outline the practices for purchasing and sanctioning corporate applications.
Setting up firewalls that prevent unsanctioned applications from having access to your network can also help. Perhaps the most effective solution for this issue would be to collaborate with employees when choosing corporate tools. Ideally, they can chip in ideas on the tools they are most comfortable working with to reduce the friction brought about by shadow IT.
Your corporate security should never be taken lightly. A simple flaw in your security landscape could lead to high customer churn rates and even the end of your business. Consider the tips above to keep your business secure online.