5 cybersecurity strategies for business owners in Ontario
Businesses around the world are moving to digital storefronts, preferring the online world over the brick-and-mortar reality of today. Why? Well, many consumers are moving towards digital shopping (eCommerce) in order to buy products due to the convenience offered by services such as Amazon, eBay, and Newegg. But with this shift comes an increase in cyber-attacks.
Business owners need to calculate the risks of moving to a digital storefront and prepare for cyber-attacks. In other words, businesses need to practice proper cybersecurity. But how?
5 Ways To Secure Your Business
1. Secure Your Network
Being a business means having a giant target painted on the back of your building. A target for who, exactly? Hackers. Hackers know many businesses don’t practice proper cybersecurity, meaning hacking a business can result in an easy payday.
One way cybercriminals work their way into a business’s database and systems is through the network. Many businesses leave their networks unencrypted, meaning the data employees send out is visible and able to be intercepted—stolen.
To avoid this, you not only need to secure your network but encrypt it as well. With reliable encryption like a VPN, your network will be much less susceptible to hacks and data breaches.
2. Encourage the Use of Unique Passwords
Business accounts contain sensitive information that, if leaked, would wreak havoc for both your business and your customers. But how could a hacker even gain access to you or your employees’ accounts? Well, a popular way to access an account is by cracking the password.
Unfortunately, many people use weak passwords for their accounts, making them susceptible to hacks. To prevent your accounts from being hacked, use a strong, unique password for all of your accounts. And, if possible, force your employees to do the same for any business-related accounts.
3. Frequently Check for Software Updates
No device is perfect. No piece of software is perfect. And, most importantly, no software developer is perfect. Security issues pop up every now and then, new security threats appear, and it’s up to software developers to make sure their software is protected against these dangers.
However, many of these security fixes/patches come unannounced, packaged with regularly-scheduled software updates. For this reason, it’s important you have your work devices updated as often as possible.
4. Verify Who Enters the Building/Uses Enterprise Services
Not every cybercriminal relies on complex, high-tech solutions. In fact, many hackers have taken to old-fashioned methods—methods that modern businesses may not expect. One of these old-fashioned methods is called “walking in”.
Yes, you read that right. Some hackers understand that many businesses—including small businesses—don’t properly secure their buildings: not locking doors, not requiring a keycard for entrance, a lack of cameras, bribing existing employees, and vice versa.
Once the hacker walks into the building, they have access to the business’s network and devices. From here, they can steal information, hack devices, and spy on online activity. Ottawa isn’t a stranger to break-ins, either.
Be sure to practice proper physical security, as physical security goes hand-in-hand with proper cybersecurity.
5. Educate Employees on Proper Cybersecurity
IBM released a report showing that human error is the leading cause of data breaches and hacks. And this should come as a surprise to no one. Not even the smartest security expert is perfect when it comes to procedures.
IBM’s study emphasizes the importance of training employees on proper cybersecurity etiquette. Holding a seminar and going over the leading causes of data breaches + how to make sure they don’t happen will go a long way in protecting your business.
Nothing sinks a business quite like cyber-attacks. A vulnerable network, a group of untrained employees, a lack of account security: all of these put your business at risk of data breaches and hacks.
Practicing proper cybersecurity is not an option, but a requirement for today’s businesses.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash