The statistics for data theft, online fraud and cybercrime have increased exponentially over the last few years. According to a survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), cyber crimes cost small businesses an annual equivalent of $4,000. The study also inferred that 33% of all the members of FSB are victims of cyber crimes such as full-on data breaches, hacking attacks, and malware infections. For the owner of small to medium size business enterprises, the effect of such attacks goes beyond the immediate working disruption and financial loss.
Such business enterprises lose the trust of consumers and overall reputation. Moreover, these small and medium-sized enterprises do not have the relevant skill set or finances to install security measures to curb the compromise of the integrity of their information. When operating a business online, the security of your information technology becomes even more critical. It is essential to protect your business from cybercriminals who could infiltrate your systems, steal data or also lead to website downtime. Such eventualities lead to losses as the consumer is no longer able to access your website which happens to be your shop and is likely to bring your firm to its knees.
With the advent of the internet, no system is foolproof. This means that if someone has the resources, time, skill and determination to infiltrate and compromise your system, then there is a probability that you could be compromised. However, it is vital for any business owner to put in place measures and safeguards so that cybercriminals can be diverted to easier targets. In this article, we are going to highlight ways through which you can make your business more secure.
Moving to a new location and smart home technology
To make your company more secure, you may consider moving to a different location that has more security. Technology has led to the development of gadgets that you can use to remotely control your business premises. There are devices that help you control your lighting, cranes and even your premise gates using your smartphone. All smart products can be controlled using an Android or iOS application where you can choose your favourite devices to make your business operations as smooth as possible.
Use of cloud computing
While some industry players view data encryption as controversial, the whole idea of embracing cloud computing to store your business information has been accepted by many in the world of business. For most small and medium business enterprises, the use of cloud computing can be a genuinely secure and convenient way to store information. This is especially the case if your firm has the requisite knowledge and expertise about the implementations, updates and security concerns involved while using the cloud to store information. The most important thing is to identify a cloud computing service provider who takes care of all those critical aspects.
A credible cloud service provider should be more proactive in maintaining system security and maintaining patches of software to safeguard the information of their clients. Cloud computing is also cost-effective and convenient in the sense that the company management and employees can access data from wherever by just using a device that can access the internet. The data stored in the cloud is also 100% secure from physical damage such as floods, fires, hurricanes or any other form of natural disaster.
Encrypt your data
From employee identification numbers, bank account numbers, debit/credit card information to social security numbers, such sensitive information have fallen prey to cyber criminals when left lying around. The compromise of the integrity of such sensitive information may lead to identity fraud. If your company has confidential and sensitive information, always ensure that you have measures in place to ensure that the data is encrypted before entering the system. Such encryption will require decryption before entering the system memory for access. Full disc encryption may protect your information from being accessed by third-parties or any other unauthorized personnel. The encoding of information in your storage space only takes about a minute without slowing down any file or document in the disc.
Upgrading the operating stems of your computer
Operating system manufacturers such as Apple, Windows, and Linux upgrade their systems or a regular basis. You can configure your operating system to get all the updates from the operating system manufacturer whenever they are available. Cybercriminals target the users of systems that do not have up to date security features. You can also update your antivirus software on a regular basis. The software in use should also be configured in such a way that it detects spyware and blocks spam.
By Finnegan Pierson, who loves business and has a passion for technology. As a freelance writer, He hopes to influence others so they can have a positive business experience.
Prepared and edited by @EdinaZejnilovic, Journalism Student at DCU.