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Online Safety Basics That Are Essential for Your Company

Online Safety Basics, cyber threats, Protecting Users, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Crime

Modern technology has become incredibly advanced, and the promise of the long sought after sci-fi future may be just around the corner. Between self-driving cars and cloud computing, the future is looking bright. However, every advancement represents new digital threats, because hackers will stop at nothing to profit off of the private and business data of others. Businesses in particular face greater risks, because they are bigger, more public targets. That means that business owners need to take certain precautions in order to protect themselves and their customers from insidious cyber threats. Here’s what you need to know.

Protecting Users

The primary target when hackers conduct cyber attacks on business is often not the business itself. Rather, hackers typically seek out the personal information of a business’s customers that is often exchanged online or via apps. This means that the safety of end-users is a major priority, and protecting your customers will require certain precautions and tools. For starters, you’ll need to encrypt your network so that users who access your website aren’t distributing their private data where a hacker can easily retrieve it. Paying for SSL certification will upgrade your website from an HTTP site to a more secure HTTPS website that will thwart hackers by scrambling data during various exchanges that would otherwise leave your customers’ data vulnerable to attacks. Likewise, many businesses have their own proprietary apps that allow customers to engage with their services remotely, but these apps require API security in order to protect users. These apps are typically constructed using a publicly available API to make it easier and more cost effective for businesses to develop apps, but that means that it’s all too easy for hackers to reverse engineer your app in order to obtain your customers’ data.

Protecting Yourself

While protecting end-users of your app and website is perhaps the most important part of thwarting hackers, your own network and the devices therein still offer hackers a way of obtaining illicit data from your customers and your business. This means that great pains will need to be taken to seal off all of the back doors hackers can use to infiltrate your network and steal personal information. At a foundational level, this means that your employees will need to be aware of and make use of various best practices in order to reduce the potential for human error. For starters, password security is a major stumbling block for cybersecurity. This is primarily because the average password is simply too easy to crack. Often, this is because users tend to prefer passwords that are easy to remember, and that makes them easy to guess. Furthermore, relying on a password in isolation is falling out of favor. Instead, modern cybersecurity experts recommend using multifactor authentication, because it has a nearly 100% chance of thwarting hackers that have obtained a user’s password. You can also take steps to enforce certain best practices, as well. For example, unsecured websites (HTTP instead of HTTPS) are susceptible to a hostile takeover by hackers, so you can restrict access to these websites using a firewall in order to minimize the risk of an employee inadvertently downloading malware that can leak your network’s data to hackers or give hackers complete remote control over your device.

Hiring Expert Consultants

The most important thing you can do to bolster the security of your business’s network is to trust in the expertise of cybersecurity professionals. Cybersecurity is complex, simply because technology itself is endlessly intricate, and hackers have devoted countless man-hours to finding ways to exploit the unaware users of the internet. Furthermore, cybersecurity is an exercise in creating a patchwork defense by using a variety of different pieces of software, as well as a trained eye and various monitoring techniques. Hiring expert consultants is therefore the best way to create a comprehensive collection of software that can thwart all of the known methods that hackers use to infiltrate networks and steal data. Furthermore, having a trained cybersecurity expert on the payroll translates to having access to certain security protocols that require a human touch. For example, network traffic analysis depends on both software and the human brain to predict cyberattacks before they happen by observing suspicious network activity and attributing that activity to a specific IP address. Protecting yourself and your clientele is a full-time job, and that means that you’ll need to hire someone to do that job if you want it done right and without forcing someone less than qualified to sweat bullets only for suboptimal results.

Modern businesses have many advantages, but each of those advantages comes with its own problems. Protecting your business and your customers from digital threats will require cybersecurity tools, practices, and expertise. These tips will help you get started off on the right foot and prevent the worst from happening.

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