It doesn’t really matter if you hire security guards or have CCTV systems installed, the biggest threats to your business now exist online. IBM believes that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is now $3.7 million, representing in a 23 per cent increase since 2013. Therefore, no organisation can ill-afford to ignore progressively powerful cyber criminals.
But what can you do to safeguard your most important, confidential, and sensitive information? Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to protect your business online…
- Upgrade your web server
The first port of call for most online offenders will be your website. Therefore, it makes complete sense to upgrade to Bare Metal Servers, which provide the ultimate in data security and privacy.
Unlike other web hosting solutions, a bare metal server is exclusively yours and not shared with anybody else. In addition to satisfying any potential regulatory issues, this option can also increase performance for CPU intensive applications, such as analytics and databases.
- Only store essential customer data
With several of the high-profile hacking incidents that took place in recent years, cyber criminals targeted the personal information of consumers. However, there isn’t always a justifiable reason to store credit card numbers or other sensitive details online, so you should purge records that are no longer relevant or needed.
“The risk of a breach outweighs the convenience for your customers,” says Chris Pogue, director of Digital Forensics and Incident Response at Trustwave. “If you have nothing to steal, you won’t be robbed.”
- Install a firewall on your network
Another access point that hackers will try to exploit is your payment terminal, which can be compromised with a piece of malware. For this reason, it is imperative you install a firewall on your network.
With a firewall in place, you can detect when large amounts of data are being implanted on or extracted from your network. If this has not been authorised by an approved member of staff, the firewall will automatically shut down the process.
- Encrypt your data
“Anytime you’re storing important data, when the data is at rest, which means it isn’t being transmitted over the internet somehow, you want it encrypted,” says Steve Cullen, senior vice president of worldwide marketing SMB and .Cloud at Symantec.
Therefore, turn on full-disk encryption tools that are standard on most current operating systems and use SSL certificates to establish a secure connection between web servers and browsers.
- Educate your employees about online security
Even if you have implemented every online security solution currently available, it could all be rendered useless by human error. Employees can unintentionally and unknowingly give hackers access to sensitive information in a number of ways, for example by clicking on a malicious email link or attachment.
Thus, educate your workforce about best practices, which can include a strong password policy and only using a secure network when working remotely. However, training will need to be a continual process to stay on point with the latest techniques being deployed by cyber criminals.