It has been so disruptive that it has changed the way that we communicate and it has influenced the very lives we live. The near entirety of humanity’s collective knowledge is now accessible to almost everyone, anytime, anywhere.
But it’s value is not merely limited to the knowledge that we are able to acquire with our fingertips, but also in how businesses are able to reach prospective buyers from all over the world. However, with a new set of advantages come a new set of challenges, the most dangerous one being that of security vulnerabilities.
If you think your small business is not a target worth attacking, you might want to think again. All it takes is for a hacker to successfully exploit a vulnerability in your network and this would pave the way for the invasion of dangerous computer viruses, adware, spyware, and denial-of-service attacks. Businesses, especially ecommerce sites, store valuable information such as personal information and methods of payment, which makes them prime targets for hackers. So, how do you keep your business from falling victim to these attacks?
Invest In Network Monitoring Software
Your defense should be secured locally before you can consider taking things online. Monitoring your network does not only help you ensure that your servers are functioning properly by detecting any bandwidth hogs, it also helps you determine what is normal network behavior and what isn’t.
An anomaly is easy to detect once you’re able to set a baseline for how your network performs. This also allows you to detect any unknown devices that are on your network, which will be indicative of any attempts to infiltrate your network.
It’s also a widely-known fact that malware tends to slow your network speeds as well as disable devices and nodes in your network. Again, something as simple as monitoring your network bandwidth (Comparitech has a list of the best tools) is going to help you determine what circumstances are normal and which ones are suspicious, and when you’ve been able to establish a pattern, you might even be able to predict when an attack is imminent.
Update Your Systems
Keeping your systems up-to-date keeps your security patches up-to-date. You may have noticed that whenever there’s news of a widespread exploit, there will almost always be an update that follows soon after the attacks. Cybersecurity is an arms race between black hat hackers and white hat hackers. System updates are free and they help bolster your system to resist any recent exploits that were discovered.
Limit Device Access To Your Network
If you’re maintaining an IT infrastructure, you have to take note of physical security measures. Access to your physical servers should be strictly guarded, and portable storage devices should be heavily regulated around your systems. Remember that attacks could come from anywhere, even from within your business. It’s also for this reason that most businesses invest in network monitoring tools because they provide network administrators with an idea of what is normal activity and what isn’t.
Invest In Security Software (But Beware Of False Positives)
These come in the form of firewalls and antivirus software. If you aren’t using any security software, you’re leaving yourself open to attack. This software isn’t just able to prevent external threats from infecting your system, but it also ensures that threats that are already in your system do not spread and cause more damage to your system by quarantining them.
However, it’s also important to only download security software from official sources. This is because rogue security software is fairly common. They are commonly found as notifications on questionable websites that alert users to a vulnerability even when in truth, their systems are completely healthy.
This causes the user to download security software from an unknown source which then installs the viruses. Some of these will even charge users prior to downloading their software before installing malware.
This is also where employee training comes into play, where each member of your production team needs to be made aware of these threats and to avoid committing these mistakes.
The internet has granted us an effective means of communication but it has also exposed us to new threats. Given the fact that we rely heavily on the internet, it’s important to secure our networks to prevent unscrupulous people from stealing confidential information from our systems. The size of your business doesn’t matter. As long as confidential customer information is transmitted through your website, that alone is enough to paint a target on your business for hackers to attempt to steal this information.
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