A common misconception many small business owners have is that they cannot be targets of cyber-attacks. This is wrong because no business is immune to hacks, irrespective of their industry and size. However, all businesses have the power to protect themselves from these attacks.
Protecting your business is easy to achieve. All it takes is the right knowledge to help make your activities and devices secure. On that note, here are three important tips to secure your business.
1. Install an efficient firewall.
Any business with an online presence is susceptible to different types of threats, and most of these threats come from unwanted traffic. This is why firewall security should be your first line of defense for your business’s network protection. A firewall will help secure your network by filtering unwanted traffic to prevent unauthorized users from accessing private data on your network.
Firewalls also act as your network gatekeepers. They’re threat detection systems that monitor your network connection and block traffic from unknown sources. A good example is the Securd DNS protection, a zero-trust DNS security provider that offers next-generation endpoint protection from viruses, phishing attacks, and malware infections.
Furthermore, firewalls provide different levels of protection, so ensure that you explore your firewall’s settings to know the best way you can maximize its protection. For instance, check the detection settings to confirm that you have set it to block unwanted sites and, if possible, set it for real-time threat protection. This means you’ll receive alerts whenever threats are detected. So, you’ll never be caught off guard by spammers. By exploring your firewall’s settings and security features, you can confirm if it meets the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) standards, and if it doesn’t, don’t hesitate to contact support.
2. Use strong, unique passwords and change them quarterly.
The easiest way to remember your login details is by using the same password across all your business platforms. Unfortunately, this means any hacker who gains access to one platform can access all the others. For instance, assuming a hacker manages to gain access to your email, they’ll most likely want to use the same login combination to access other sites like your website or, worse, online banking. Therefore, the best way to prevent this data breach domino effect is by creating strong, unique passwords for individual sites and platforms.
Furthermore, ensure that these passwords are changed frequently, monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly to minimize the risk of hackers gaining access to your business. However, regardless of your timing, make sure you never use the same password for more than 90 days.
In addition to having a solid and unique password, having a two-factor authentication will make sure that your accounts are properly secured. Two-factor authentication works by identifying your indenting using something you know (password), something you have (phone or token), or something you are (fingerprint or face ID). An authentication like this means that even if a hacker knows your password, they can’t do anything with it, as a password alone is useless.
3. Use a VPN when working on a public WIFI.
You’ve probably found yourself in situations where you needed to grab a cup of coffee and sit at the coffee shop to work, or perhaps, you’re on a trip and would be spending the night at a hotel. When in situations like these, never connect to the public Wi-Fi as most of them are unsecured, but if you must, use a VPN.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is super easy to set up, and it encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through the VPN company’s server. This means no one can snoop on your information, including the VPN owner(s). Additionally, a VPN can hide your IP address and protect you from trackers and advertisers looking to geolocate you. It also allows you to access restricted contents that aren’t available to your country. So, using a VPN when working with an unsecured connection is always a win-win.