With the rise of internet-connected devices, cybercrime has also become more prevalent. As an online business owner, it’s important that you understand the risks and take proper precautions. The consequences of falling victim to cybercrime can be devastating for your business. Not only will it result in a financial loss, but you could also suffer brand irreparable damage. If you operate an e-commerce store or sell products or services online, it is more likely that your business will be exposed to cybercrime at some point. However, by taking proactive steps to mitigate risk, you can protect your business from cybercriminals and their nefarious activities.
Awareness is the first step to cyber security
The best way to combat cybercrime is to be aware of the risks, susceptible industries, and the types of attacks that are most likely to occur. By taking the time to educate yourself, you can be proactive in protecting your business from cybercrime. Start by identifying the different types of cybercrime. This will help you understand how criminals use technology to steal data or disrupt operations. Cybercrime can be categorized into three types:
- Data breach – An unauthorized person accessing and stealing data from your system or network.
- Cyberattack – An attack on a computer system, network, or application. This could result in a data breach.
- Cyber-extortion – Attempts to acquire money from victims under false pretenses. This could include threatening to release sensitive data if the ransom is not paid.
Ensure your software is up-to-date
A software vulnerability is a weakness in an application’s code that could allow a hacker to gain access to your system. There are a variety of software, such as web browsers, operating systems, and third-party apps that are critical to the operation of your business. Ensure that the latest version is installed and that all software is up-to-date, including third-party apps, such as antivirus software. It’s important to understand that not all software updates are created equal. While some are required to fix a vulnerability, others are released to add new features or functionality. Make sure that you are installing updates that fix the identified vulnerabilities.
Implement strong passwords and user authentication
Strong password authentication is critical to protecting the system that houses sensitive data. In addition to having strong passwords, consider two-factor authentication (or two-step verification). This requires users to provide an additional form of identification when logging in. This can be in the form of a PIN number, a fingerprint, or a code sent to your phone. It’s important to note that even having strong passwords and logging in with two-factor authentication does not guarantee that your system is safe. Cybercriminals have become very sophisticated in their ability to breach computer systems. To this end, make sure that your operating system, applications, and plug-ins are up-to-date.
Use SSL certificate for secure communication
An SSL certificate is a digital credential that ensures the communication between you and your customers’ computers is encrypted. This protects the information that is exchanged during the transaction. In addition, you can use a third-party security token to protect your account against hackers. These devices are used to generate one-time passwords to help you minimize your risk of getting hacked. Because cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their ability to breach computer systems, SSL certificates are more important than ever. They are essential for protecting customer data and guarding against data breaches.
Backup your data and store it in a safe place
Just as you would take steps to protect your physical assets, it’s equally important to protect your digital data. Data backups are one way to help mitigate risks related to cybercrime. Although they don’t prevent cybercrime from occurring, they can be used to help mitigate the damage. There are a number of different ways you can back up your data. Consider cloud storage, an offsite hard drive, or a computer server. While data backups can help reduce the damage associated with a data breach, they don’t prevent them from occurring. It is also important that you store your backups in a secure location. And, make sure they are rotated on a frequent basis to ensure their integrity.
Online businesses are at risk of cybercrime. To protect your business, you need to understand the types of attacks that are most likely to occur and the steps you can take to reduce the risk of being targeted. Cybercrime is on the rise, but it can be prevented. It starts with strong passwords, ensuring your software is up to date, and keeping your data backed up. If you take these steps, your business will be better prepared to deal with a potential cyber attack. Keep in mind, however, that no digital system is impenetrable. It will always be possible for cybercriminals to hack into certain systems. You can’t let the fear of cybercrime prevent you from operating your business online. Rather, it should compel you to take steps to minimize the risk of being targeted.