Steps to Improving Security in Your Business
There are many people out there who just like the challenge of breaking into any system and some of these security breaches and attacks are done by these type of people. However, most of the attacks have malicious intents like stealing social security number, credit card details, etc to have a financial gain. There is also the theft of corporate intellectual property. Hackers steal corporate intellectual property and resell the data to competitors or on behalf of them. This is why it’s very important for any business to protect their information and some of the ways to accomplish this is explained below.
Using Antivirus Software
Making use of efficient antivirus software is very much essential to ensure that viruses and other malicious programs do not render your computers use. There is no question whether your computer will or will not get infected by a virus; the question is, when will it be infected. This is why it is important for any person to install an antivirus program to prevent their computers from getting infected.
Viruses should not be the only concern while using computers. You should be aware of phishing attacks and scams. These attacks can make you think that you are doing something, but actually, it might not be the case. For instance, you may think that you are accessing the website of your bank, but in reality, you might be accessing a hacker’s website, which looks exactly the same as your bank account. There are many antivirus products available out there that are bundled with security features including anti phishing.
Firewall programs can be considered the first line of defense for computers and networks. These programs ensure that only the data you have authorized enters or leaves the computer. There are also hardware firewalls that should be installed on the outer layer of your computer network. For instance, you can add it to the entry point of your internet connection. In addition, you will also need to install software firewall to all the computers in the network. Keep in mind that firewalls cannot be installed just like that. They need to be configured properly to match the security expectations of your business.
Backing up Data
This might be a thing that many of us do not do enough. Just think about what will happen if all your business data is erased. This can be severely crippling for any business, therefore, it’s important to backup data. This will ensure that when data is lost, you can recover it easily without suffering any loss or damages. There are various ways of backing up your data. You can back up the data to online storage, to a DVD or some other external storage media, like a hard drive or another PC. Whichever method you are using, it’s imperative for you to test the backup. It will be a complete waste of resources to backup data every year and to realize that the data is corrupted and unusable when you need it the most.
Using Intrusion Detection Systems
Intrusion detection systems can be considered a third layer of security to your computer network. These systems help block malicious activity that is not detected or blocked by your first line of defense, which can be the firewall or the antivirus program. Some of the malicious programs like viruses are programmed so efficiently that they appear to be legitimate ones and easily gain access through the network. This is where intrusion detection systems come into play. They can help detect these types of attacks.
Ensuring Wireless Security
This should be one of your top considerations if you are planning to use mobile technology. Your salesperson might be using wireless network to communicate, and without proper wireless security measures in place, a hacker can easily snatch their data or steal things like credit card details. In addition, it will be easy for your competitors to wirelessly access your network, without proper security in place. They can access the network and download important things like your customer details or sales data.
Moreover, it is important that the data stored on your mobile device is protected and encrypted. Also, you should allow access to the network only to authorized users. You can consult your wireless provider to make sure that the connection is secure and seek the help of a security expert to configure secured wireless access. Another important thing to ensure is to use a virtual private network (VPN) while remotely accessing the business network. This will ensure that the data transmitted through the network is secure. Using a virtual private network will lock the data that you transfer into a virtual tunnel while going through the public internet.
Using Biometric Security
Biometric security systems make use of retina scans, fingerprints, or other body scans to authenticate access. This is a great line of defense and can be used together with passwords or in place of passwords. Most of us remember many passwords while using computers and this can be avoided if we make use of biometric security. You can make use of the biometric reader that is built into notebooks to improve your business security. It’s actually a very easy and cheap way to increase security.
This is an area that is not discussed as much as phishing attacks or viruses. However, it is an equally important area of security. You might be selling some products online and might be using an online database to store details of transactions and customer information. The e-commerce software or the database might not be secured enough or there might be some back door security vulnerabilities that your programmer might not be aware of. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers to gain access to the network and steal data.
Keep in mind that there are many experienced hackers out there who have the skill and patience to trace out the vulnerabilities in applications and exploit it for their advantage.
When you run your business making use of online or offline applications on an internal network, you need to make sure that the application you use is secure, and that unauthorized users are unable to access it. Therefore, make sure that you protect your business data effectively.
Avoid Social Engineering Attacks
To avoid such attacks, you need to educate your customers, partners, and employees that they are the first line of defense for your business data. In the book, The Art of Deception, author Kevin Mitnick has very well explained how so much of his security breaches were executed successfully without any technological intervention. He just got to the right person inside the company who can give him the data he needs, like usernames, passwords or account numbers. By sweet-talking to unsuspecting employees, he could make them think that he is the technician who is in need of a password or some other critical data. This is why it’s important to alert your staff to not offer their passwords, usernames or any other details to others, unless they are completely sure who they are giving the details to.
Keeping the Software Updated
This is another important and low cost thing you can do to improve your business security. You need to keep things like your web browser and operating system regularly updated. These updates can be easily downloaded from the vendors. If you use the Windows operating system, you can set the OS to automatically download and install updates when released. This feature will be turned on by default in the latest computers.