Online threats aren’t just a figment of the imagination that’ll never actually come to harm you – they’re serious, intelligent, and they’re everywhere. No business is too big or too small to be a target for cyber-crime, so whether you’re a multi-billion pound conglomerate or a quant stationery store on the outskirts of town, there’s information and more to be stolen within your databases and if a thief sees any sign of weakness in your setup, the chances are that he’ll have been in and out with all of your sensitive data before you’ve even noticed. There are, however, a few ways that you can protect yourself against the threats, making your company less susceptible to dangerous breaches that could cripple the company if left undetected. Here are our 4 vital methods to help you protect your business online:
1) Staff Training
The first line of defence is to prepare your staff for possible attacks – they’ll most likely be the ones who are targeted as most of the more effective attacks, such as well-crafted phishing attempts, focus on human behaviour and use it as a weakness, so they’ll need to be taught how to identify and dispose of those attacks effectively. Staff training courses can give your entire workforce the knowledge that they need to be more vigilant against online attacks, keeping your business safer for longer. This training is available in a range of different styles to cater to every company’s weaknesses – some courses tailor the lessons to cut out the jargon and provide you with the information you need, such as the IT security courses by Bob’s Business, so you can skip the parts that aren’t relevant to your business and get down to protecting your business from harm.
2) Instilling a Culture
This stems from the staff training, but it’s taking that training and turning into a full-blown culture across the company – it’s about getting your staff, from top to bottom, to understand that the threats are incredibly real and drastically dangerous, so they need to constantly be in a mindset that’s alert and awake to the dangers. This can be by partaking in regular refresher sessions, simulated attacks, or by having informative posters dotted around the office for quick reminders whilst ensuring all new employees are shown your online safety protocols in depth.
3) Response Plan
This is vital in the case of a successful attack; you’ll need to know how to react so that you can shut down the threat and minimise the damage that the hackers can cause as quickly as possible. The response plan will likely have been presented in the initial training, but again it’s important to have regular refreshers and updates so that you’re on top and ready to fight against the latest online threats in an ever-changing and growing world of attacks. Whether this is an immediate protocol to change passwords and shutdown accounts, or activating combative software to fight against a virus, there is a multitude of different methods to combat cyber-attacks and you’ll want to be aware of each so that you can properly deflect any damage away from the business.
4) Secure Your Hardware
Whilst it’s the software that the hackers are targeting, securing your hardware can help to prevent them even managing to get there in the first place. With stronger barriers to fight through, criminals may think twice before attacking, but even if they do decide to try to infiltrate your company systems, they’ll have a harder time getting in and causing issues. Stronger, more secure hardware is usually easy enough to integrate into your day to day operations as a company, so be sure to liaise with your IT department to ensure that they’re on top with the latest technological advances available.
There’s no one way to keep your company safe and your biggest asset in the fight against online threats is vigilance and care on behalf of you and your staff, so make sure that you’re all trained to the necessary levels and maintain your knowledgebase as new protocols are developed, altered, and implemented to combat against the latest threats on the web by participating in regular training courses.