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8 Ways to Secure your Business from Online Theft!




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Cyber-attacks targeting businesses are on the rise. According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 61% of confirmed data breaches involved hacking or malware. 

Many of these attacks target small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that lack the resources to secure their entire network while staying in compliance with industry mandates for information security. 

Between April 2015 and March 2018, hackers stole $12 billion from SMBs in the United States alone! And it is getting worse every year – according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, more than 22 million new malware threats emerged last year which represents a 656% increase since 2013 (Symantec).

If your business is not yet protected, don’t panic! The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to fortify your system. 

While large corporations like Google and Amazon regularly fortify their websites with state-of-the-art technology, small businesses often do not have the same level of resources or expertise. 

However, these security measures do not require you to be an IT professional (though it does help); they usually only require a little time and effort on your part to protect your business from malware attacks while staying in compliance with industry mandates. Whether you are protecting yourself against ransomware or other forms of cyber-attacks, here’s how to fortify your website against common threats.

Legally Secure Your Business

The first step to protect your business against online theft is to make sure you are legally compliant. Your business, whether it be a brick-and-mortar store or a digital one, needs to be legally registered in order to cope with online theft. 

If your business, unfortunately, suffers any cyber fraud and you still have registered it with the state, then it might become a problem for you to claim the theft in the first place. 

So make sure to fill out this necessity right away. You can visit MoneyAisle, a platform that’ll lead you towards many ways of registering & legalizing your business.

Secure your passwords!

The first step to protecting yourself is creating secure passwords that are difficult for hackers and crackers to guess. Make sure you use a strong password (a minimum of 10 characters) and make it something unique with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. 

Avoid using words or personal information in your password such as names, birthdays, social security numbers, etc. If possible use two-factor authentication with one-time passcodes when logging into your account from another device.

Utilize cloud services like LastPass which creates strong passwords and stores them securely in an online vault for easy access when signing into accounts on other devices. We also suggest you consider setting up alerts that warn you of suspicious activity on your accounts.

Harden your website

It is important to follow the OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) Top-10 list when hardening your website in order to protect against common vulnerabilities and malicious activity. 

They are Sensitive Data Exposure, Broken Authentication, XSS (Cross-Site Scripting), Injection Flaws, Security Misconfiguration, Sensitive Data Exposure, Lack of Restriction for Important Functionality, CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery), Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities, Missing Function Level Access Control and Invalidated Redirects and Forwards. 

It may seem daunting but taking this step will help prevent hackers from exploiting these weaknesses when trying to access important company data.

Dispose of Your Personal Information

Another way of protecting your business comes from ensuring you are disposing of all personal information. 

Make sure to shred old documents or simply go through your company’s trash can on a regular basis and get rid of anything that may have personal identifiers. This includes outdated files with employee names, critical passwords, etc. If possible, use an online service that will help you securely delete sensitive data.

Hire a Reputable IT Provider

Protecting against online theft requires regular software updates which can sometimes go unheeded by businesses with limited resources or employees who lack the expertise or motivation to stay up-to-date on cyber threats. Nowadays, many companies outsource their security services which help them overcome these obstacles and keep them protected from evolving threats. 

By signing up with an IT provider you can rest easy knowing your company is complying with industry mandates without the hassle of staying on top of cyber threats. Whenever a new threat is identified, your provider can update your software so you are always protected.

Be sure to select an IT service that is reputable and provides a guarantee of their services. This way if anything happens as a result of an update you’re covered with adequate compensation.

Protect Your Digital Assets

Make sure everything you are doing online is secure, especially when it comes to your digital assets and intellectual properties. If someone steals or makes a copy of something in your company’s cloud storage, for example, they can make unauthorized changes to it and try to pass it off as the original. 

In order to combat this from happening, be sure to add a copyright notice on all of the material you publish online which will help thwart anyone who tries to use that information without your knowledge or permission. This only works if you actually register a copyright with the United States Copyright Office by going through copyright.gov/eco.

Security Training for Employees

According to Business Finance Articles, all employees in your business should receive security training. This includes IT staff, receptionists, and managers who may also have access to company information or accounts that could be targeted by hackers. 

Regularly scheduled workshops on personal email safety and social engineering are a great way to keep your employees educated about potential threats while helping them protect the company from cybercriminals.

Online Backup Your Data

You need a backup plan in case something happens to your website or if all of your client’s personal information is stolen in a ransomware attack-it’s not going to do anybody any good if you lose all of the data because you didn’t back it up somewhere safe. Make sure you include backups along with routine virus scans and updates to your security system.

Finally, make sure you monitor all activity on your computer and account for suspicious activity like emails from unknown people or emails with odd-looking attachments (that were short and sweet). The key is to be proactive when it comes to protection against malware attacks.

The Bottom Line

With these simple yet effective ideas, your organization can rest easy knowing it is protected against cybercriminals. By taking the proper steps to protect yourself, you can avoid hefty fines and other legal ramifications which could impact your business. Letting cybercrime run rampant could cause your company to lose money, clients, and respect which will take years to rebuild. Taking action against hackers is much easier than trying to repair the damage they leave behind.

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