In this climate of data breaches, hacking events, Ransomware attacks, and other malicious security threats, no company can afford to ignore the danger. At the same time, no matter the size of the company nor the industry, there is no business running a steady operation that can afford to lose control over its website.
Your company’s website might be nothing more than a landing page with your contact information and hours of operation, or it might be a full-service sales portal that serves as the mainstay of end-to-end transactions. In either case, that website is your company’s “face,” and any problem with it is a problem for your business. Even more alarming, your company’s website may serve as a giant unlocked container that allows hackers to access your stored data, potentially opening you up to a data breach.
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of tech tools that can protect your website and keep your day-to-day operations moving forward. Some are obviously going to be the kinds of tools that Fortune 500 companies with entire IT departments are going to deploy, while others are basic safety nets that even the smallest business should invest in.
- Antivirus Software – The first great tool is also the most basic, and that’s strong safeguards against viruses and other forms of malware. Interestingly, some security experts have spoken out against AV software, not so much in that it’s useless but that it gives businesses a false sense of security. However, when it comes to a data breach and the possibility of resulting lawsuits, your antivirus protocols may be called into evidence. In the infamous Target data breach in 2013, not only did the third-party vendor who infected the network not have up-to-date AV software, the one they did use was a free “home edition” version that explicitly stated it was not for business enterprises.
2. Admin Access – One mistake a lot of companies make is in setting up their systems while leaving admin access wide open to any employee. That not only means employees can intentionally or inadvertently compromise company and customer data, but that hackers can as well. With tools like email and web filters, firewalls, and antivirus software, it’s especially important that admin access is blocked in order to prevent employees from going “around” the filters.
- 3. SSL Protocol – Encryption is a hot topic in privacy right now, and with the right encryption tools in place you can easily work to prevent the loss of stored data, especially passwords and security questions. A number of tech tools also employ encryption in things like peer-to-peer messaging apps, meaning that even when your team members collaborate on a project, the communications are encrypted both in the sending and the receiving.
4. External storage – Whether you opt for a cloud-based storage subscription or external hard drives, you’re going to want to backup all of your website and company data regularly. Depending on the industry, some companies actually run backups several times a day. Why all the hasty security measures? Because ransomware and DDoS attacks are a growing threat, and it only takes one malicious click to completely cripple your entire website. Once your website is down and your network files are locked up, you have a choice: pay the ransom or close up for the day. But with external storage of some kind, you can start fresh with the most recent version of everything you’ve saved.
5. Manpower – There is no more high-tech tool for optimal web performance than your own workforce, and that means frequent, in-depth training on data security, cyber attacks, and data breaches. These best practices have got to include up-to-date information on preventing problems before they arise, and should be made a part of the company policy and handbook for all employees, regardless of their roles within the company.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.