TMCnet Feature
June 22, 2021

How Your New Business Can Be Safer Online

Whether your business is a fresh new start-up or you've been running it for years, it's always going to be vulnerable to cyber threats. As the business world continues to increase its use of the internet, cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Protecting a business against online threats has become more and more challenging, and no business is invulnerable. Small, family-run stores are just as susceptible (if not more so) to cyber attacks as larger corporations, so every business owner needs to protect themselves from cybercriminals. If you want your business and your customers to be safer online, here are the key ways to boost your digital security.

Locking the Digital Doors

Just as you wouldn't leave a shop door open overnight, you need to ensure that cybercriminals can't wander around the digital side of your business at will. That means securing your computers from the threat of malware. This is a form of malicious software, and its sole purpose is to either break into or damage your computers or computer networks. You need to be using:

  • A firewall: You will often have one pre-installed on your internet router, but applying software firewalls is highly recommended as a second line of defense.
  • Computer protection: Ideally, you should have additional security on your computers themselves. Programs that will identify risky websites that your team might be visiting are high-value. So too are sophisticated identity solutions that will protect your business and your customers from fraud and scams. Solutions like these can ensure a smoother customer experience and minimize disruptions to the operations you run due to knowing when identity fraud is afoot.

The goal is to ensure that hackers and criminals find it more difficult to break into your digital network. The more difficult that you make it, the more likely those with malicious intent will head elsewhere.

Have a Cybersecurity Policy

The size of a business is irrelevant when it comes to cybersecurity. Small businesses are often much more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals because they tend to have fewer defense systems in place. That's why you need to have a company-wide policy that lets your team know more than the basics of how you want cybersecurity implemented. Even a basic policy will massively boost your online protection. This basic list can make a huge improvement:

  • Strong passwords and password management
  • Firm guidelines on what kinds of websites can and can't be visited on company devices
  • Tips on how to identify phishing scams
  • How to use email encryption solutions
  • Knowledge of who a team member should report to in the case of a security query or a security breach

This is a very basic cybersecurity policy, and there are many templates available online that can further improve your online security.

A Word on BYOD

More businesses than ever are using the Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) philosophy when it comes to tech. While there are many advantages to this method or tech management, it comes with a unique range of risks that could leave your business exposed. Make sure that you understand those risks and that you know the best ways to avoid them.

Online security doesn't have to be a permanent source of stress and hard work. Once you have set most systems up, they will do the hard work for you. The most common mistake that business owners make is to dismiss enforcing tougher levels of cybersecurity because it seems too technical or too much like hard work. A little basic research and an awareness of your vulnerabilities will always be the first step to a safer business.

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