Last week we discussed how to secure your website to protect it from hackers and theft. Today, we will be covering how to protect your business from a cyber attack. We have quite a few articles on how to keep your computer & information protected, how to stay safe on public wifi, and even how to speed up your computer but nothing really on how to keep your business protected; we’re going to fix that! Now a lot of the information covered in the articles I referenced still have very good, and very relevant information on computer virus removal and malware removal to avoid having to calling computer tech support but it’s more for personal use. Commercial licenses and setups are vastly different from how you would have a bunch of computers setup in your home, for example.
Thankfully, we have a lot of resources available to us that covers a lot of this information and there are even some check lists! Now I will say, if you are not computer savvy, likely none of these check lists are going to make sense. That’s okay though because if you need someone to set this up for you, we can help! The best way to go about security for your business so that you don’t end up relying on your computer tech support team is to act as if your business needs to remain PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliant. (Even if you don’t take credit card transactions or store any personal information from a customer.) Why this is recommended is since they have the strictest guidelines to make sure that your information, as well as your customers’ information, is protected! (To the best of your ability and knowledge) Did you know that by not following the guide lines for your level of PCI Compliance, your business can be fined anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 for a single fine? That is a staggering number to just suddenly lose and will likely end with your business going bankrupt, depending on your size and the magnitude of the penalty. So why would you even risk it?
Cyber attacks and having hackers steal your data is incredibly costly in so, so many ways.
Now I cannot get too into detail here because everyone is going to have different equipment, and the instructions vary too much to even give generalized hints. Not to mention, every business has their own set of needs and requirements. What we can say, though, is that you need to make sure that whatever you give permission to be accessed outside of your network, you had better be certain you know exactly what it is, why it’s needed and the full-scope of what the user can access. For example, if I have a website where I sell paintings, then nobody outside of my business should be able to look up a list of registered users, or my internal price lists, or any personal/confidential information. This can be said for any part of your network!
Always makes sure you know exactly who can access what, and why.
This is a term you probably hear a lot in your favorite TV shows or movies, especially if you grew up on 80’s or 90’s movies! While, for the most part, everyone knows that they need one, most people don’t really understand why or what it does. While a firewall will not help with computer virus removal or malware removal, a good business class firewall will at least try to prevent these attacks from happening in the first place. Much like a literal firewall placed inside the walls of a building, a firewall for your network will try to stop or block threats from spreading across your entire IT infrastructure. If you don’t have a firewall for your business, hackers can easily access the computers & devices on your network. Once they’re inside, the hackers can steal proprietary information from your network for identity theft or other criminal purposes. A hacker who knows what they’re doing could also install malicious software on your network’s computers, such as Trojans, worms and other viruses. They could bring down your email and web servers, among other things, crippling your business. Now your router that you (probably) have at your business already acts as a firewall but odds are it’s on the very low-end side of things and it meant for consumer use, not a business. An enterprise-level firewall is what you would be looking for as it does far more than just blocking unwanted access to strangers; it can act as an anti-malware & virus, it should have VPN support (look at step 5 for more information), and a ton of other features to really secure your business. Now some of you might be thinking ‘But wait, my computer already has a firewall installed, why do I need another?’ and that’s a great question! You should always have multiple firewalls; one for the device itself, and at least one other firewall for your entire network. (Like what we have been discussing)