The digital world has the unique challenge of being untraceable and virtually unviewable. You can’t see who or what is on the other side of a wall, making it easy for malicious actors to go undetected.
If you own an online business, you especially need to be vigilant about securing data and keeping sensitive information private. Here are some ways that you can improve your business’ online security measures.
1) MONITOR YOUR NETWORK ACTIVITY
Viruses and malware can sneak onto your computer without your knowledge, quietly collecting and transmitting data from your computer. Keep an eye out for unusual activity on your computer and network such as unfamiliar IP addresses or ports that are open.
Microsegmentation is a security measure that breaks down a larger network into smaller, more secure clusters. If hackers break into a larger network, they can access many different subnets and data. In a smaller network, however, hackers are only able to access that smaller network and the data stored there.
2) ORGANIZE YOUR DATA
Some of the worst cybersecurity mistakes can come from not knowing where your own information is located. You should be sure to organize information about customers, data related to your supply chain, and other information critical to your company’s financial success.
Make sure to keep everything contained in relevant files. Not only can this approach help protect your own data, but it can make your clientele feel more comfortable about working with you. If you service student loans online, for example, students and parents would want to see that you’re keeping their information organized and safe.
3) CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS
Many business owners use the same password for multiple accounts, which leaves them vulnerable to hackers. Make sure that you change passwords on a regular basis and ensure that your passwords are strong.
Use at least eight characters with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. There are software programs like BitWarden and LastPass that can help you create unique passwords for each account and save them all in one place.
4) USE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
Two-factor authentication requires you to type in a code that is sent to your phone, usually through text or an app. This method is especially helpful for things like your bank account and other financial arrangements. Even if someone figures out your password, he or she won’t be able to access your account without the second piece of information.
Some websites even offer an option to use facial recognition, fingerprints, or other biometric identification methods instead of a code sent to your phone. Be careful with this method, though. If someone gets a hold of your biometric data, he or she can potentially access your account just as easily.
5) ENCRYPT YOUR DATA
If you store sensitive information like medical records or financial data, one of the best ways to keep it secure is to have it on a separate system that is encrypted. When a file is encrypted, it becomes harder for someone to read that information. This is important for keeping your information private.
A company that offers cloud storage may have a system set up to encrypt your information but it’s also important to check before storing anything sensitive on their servers. Check with your web hosting provider or look for a reputable hosting company that specializes in cybersecurity.
The virtual world requires just as much attention to detail (if not more) than the physical one. If you’re not careful, you could be leaving your business and personal data vulnerable to malicious online actors. This is why it’s so important to secure your online presence and protect your data from falling into the wrong hands.