There have been plenty of stories in the media recently concerning the threat of cybercrime, with entire countries and governments seemingly under attack from unknown digital criminals.
Your company’s computer-based data may not seem as extensive or at risk of a breach as that of larger national and international organizations, but if you are targeted in this manner, then you could be in for a whole lot of pain – financially and otherwise.
Because most businesses conduct a lot of their work online these days, there is an ever-increasing chance for companies to become susceptible to cybercrime. It may not be on the scale of the crippling attack that befell Twitter, PayPal and others last year, forcing some of the biggest websites in the world to crash, but an attack can seriously impede your business’ ability to perform.
There are several ways that a larger website can come under attack, depending on the motive of the criminals responsible. It could be a simple hack that infects a site with a virus, either for disruption purposes or introducing some kind of ransomware for financial gain. Depending on the site involved, the motivation could be to steal data or even hijack the website’s server to send out spam.
Whether a cyberattack is based on phishing or fraud, website owners need to make sure that their security is robust enough to counter any threat. But how do you go about protecting your site?Here are a number of things that you should do to ensure that your data is not compromised.
Keep up to date
It may seem obvious, but keeping your site’s software up to date is a must. When hackers attempt to gain access, they use tools that search servers and software for weak links to exploit. If your software has not been updated, then it may create an easy entrance point for a virus.
Use complex passwords
Even with smaller company websites, there are likely to be numerous people using passwords to access secure information. Although most people have heard that they should not use passwords that are easy to figure out, it doesn’t mean that they will comply with this advice. With a larger site, the risk of passwords being hacked is even greater, so make sure that there is a secure system in place for password generation. Use encryption if possible.
Transfer information correctly
Even if you ensure that your employees follow strict security conventions when they are online, it may not make a difference if these practices are not followed when you deal with other companies. With business being conducted online so frequently these days, you need to make sure that every interaction is as secure as possible. This includes utilizing simple measures such as the digital signing of documents. There are companies that can provide security programs for these kinds of interactions, such as Docusign, which was set up by Keith Krach to protect sites from attacks while they perform a very simple task.
Be wary of uploads
Most people have heard of phishing scams that try to gain private details and can lead to untold misery for those who fall victim. However, the uploading of any file can be just as risky. Because even the simplest of uploads could contain scripts that leave your site vulnerable, it is vital that you either rename any uploads or – for greater security – prohibit direct uploads altogether by incorporating a remote folder and usinga new script that retrieves these files in a secure manner.
Intercepting the transfer of sensitive and private details is one way that hackers can cause security headaches. By using the HTTPS protocol, you can guarantee that users are interacting with the correct server and that the information relayed is not interfered with or changed in any way. Using HTTPS stops any chance of a hacker imitating users to gain access, and Google boosts your website in search rankings, so it can even help on a SEO level as well.
As so much business is carried out online, there is a greater chance than ever that your company and website can come under attack. The growing inter-connection that people are experiencing – the “Internet of Things” – only increases potential problems. Companies of all sizes are at risk, but with enough work put into the prevention of cyberattacks and the security of all online operations, you will have a lower likelihood of beingon the wrong end of this kind of digital strike.