When it comes to website protection from cyber crime, you can never be too careful. Businesses are incessantly moving their operations online – they present their merchandise and services, promote offers, provide presentations, give support to clients and, most importantly, manage their financial transactions electronically more often than not.
With cyberspace so full of temptation, cyber-criminals are doing their best to get through the protection and get their hands on some easy cash. New threats require new and better safety measures, and improved safety measures trigger innovative solutions on how to combat them. The never-ending cycle continues, thus it is of utmost importance to always stay up-to-date with the latest trends on cyber crime and adequately protect your business website and content.
Watch out for malware
The sole purpose of malware (malicious software) is to sneak into your device without your knowledge or consent. This can be extremely hazardous to your data and your machine, so try to take necessary precautions. The firewall on your computer isn’t enough when it comes to defence against malware, but it is still crucial in the whole process, so remember to turn it on and keep it on. Find security software that will perform well without hindering your machine’s performance, as well as cover protection from identity theft, hackers, risky websites and the like. Clean up your email with antispam, since spam may well reach your business and do some serious damage.
Geo-filtering (geo-blocking) is one more effective way to put a stop to cyber crime. Its system is designed to block network connections on the basis of geographic locations, so it can prevent cyber crime traffic from entire countries from reaching your company’s website. There are countries that have been statistically proven to yield more cyberattacks than others, such as China, Russia, Turkey, Taiwan, and Brazil. Unless you have clients operating from these countries, it would be wise to cut off access to your computers and networks and stay safe. Many have already opted for this kind of filtering, especially in the entertainment industry. Big names such as Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu, as well as some famous casinos in the entertainment niche like the likes of SkyCity Casino, use geo-filtering in order to minimise the risk of online theft and security breach.
Manage social media
Social networks are widespread, ever-evolving and therefore present a threat that should not be ignored. Appoint a trustworthy person at your company who can speak on its behalf on social media platforms. They should be very selective when it comes to disclosing certain aspects of internal and external events and regularly consult with you as the owner or with your CEO. However, it is not only your information you need to worry about. Remind customers at your online places to refrain from sharing sensitive personal information in posts, and where and to whom to turn should they need assistance involving such data. Your contact list should consist of people you know and trust, and you should be careful if tempted to click on a link provided by an unknown and therefore suspicious source.
Strong passwords are still invaluable when it comes to protecting your network. The strength of a password is reflected in the length and diversity of characters, so strive towards a minimum of eight characters, preferably with embedded numbers which will stop basic attacks based on guesswork. Require that passwords are changed frequently enough and inform both your staff and customers about the dangers of not keeping their passwords safe. Writing them down, storing them on mobile phones or using guessable ones will put both the company and the customers at risk. The strongest ones are actually not words at all, but random letters, numbers and special characters. There are secure password managers that will remember them for you, which at the same time encourages people to improve their safety on the web.
Separate payment terminal network
This is an extremely sensitive area most prone to cyberattacks. By separating your payment terminal network from your general store network greatly reduces the chances of such an attack. Believe it or not, your employees will most often be the doorway to stealing valuable information. Hackers target employees by infecting their email and infiltrating their computers. This is how cybercriminals gain access to the payment terminal and do often irreparable damage. However, if your payment terminal is placed on a separate network, the risk of it being compromised is significantly minimised. With only a couple of educated individuals with authorization to use it, it does not qualify as an easy target and hackers are most likely to move on to something more accessible.
Fortunately, there are many software options that test the vulnerability of your network and payment terminals. The first step you should take is to check with your payment processor. It might happen that some of them will offer a free firewall and security testing within their standard package on offer. You will be able to conduct vulnerability scans, see reports and follow detailed instructions on how to secure any weak points. There is also an option to train your staff in cybersecurity, which only reinforces your safety measures.
Doing business online is definitely here to stay. It will continue to evolve and improve, but it is more than clear now that brick and mortar establishments cannot satisfy the needs of a modern consumer society. Keep your business safe and sound by taking all the necessary precautions, since the damage caused by such neglect is not worth the risk.