Launching a new business is a defining moment for any entrepreneur, be it a small or mid-sized firm or a large corporation. Much work and planning go into identifying the target niche you deem fit to pursue and develop or packaging the product or service you want to offer. Currently, the business space has shifted online, where internet transactions account for most of the revenue generated by a large portion of modern businesses. However, this gold mine comes with a lot of challenges. This article seeks to shed light on essential cybersecurity tips that every entrepreneur needs to know to survive in the information age.
Top Cybersecurity Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know
1. Use an SSL Certificate for Your Website
As an entrepreneur, the main goal of your website or ecommerce store is to make money. As such, you are going to be accepting online payments and to do so, you need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) regulations. One of the main requirements is that any website accepting online payments must have an SSL certificate. Usually, this enforces the HTTPS protocol where any information being exchanged to and from the web server is encrypted and can only be decrypted by the intended recipient.
Having an SSL Certificate is mandatory for any business accepting online payments because there is too much at stake if your customers’ personally identifiable information like credit card details were to fall into the wrong hands. Usually, hackers will try to get as much private information as possible such as bank details, home address, health records, and so on so that they can then use that information for personal gain like stealing money, making fraudulent purchases and blackmailing victims. You can be sued for everything you have if you compromised your customer safety like that. If you are thinking of an SSL certificate and you are a large organization, then consider going for a Wildcard SSL Certificate that covers your main site as well as all sub-domains.
2. Keep Your Systems and Software Up to date
Hackers are neither lazy nor stupid. In most cases, they are always one step ahead of the victim. Most cybersecurity attacks happen by malicious actors discovering system or software vulnerabilities on your end before you do and acting fast to gain access before you fix it. You or your IT team needs to always be on toes when it comes to installing the latest patches and software updates as soon as they are released to ensure that the vulnerabilities of old versions do not cost you. Every piece of hardware in your firm also always needs to be in the right shape to thwart and security breaches.
3. Train Your Employees
The weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity is usually people. Checkout this video on how hackers hack secure systems! In your company setting, this could be you or your employees. Everyone in your organisation needs to have cybersecurity tips set on default in their minds to avoid human error mistakes. The use of strong passwords for instance is a must be it on personal devices like laptops and mobile phones as well as on company networks. A malicious actor can easily gain access to your company network through an unprotected device of your employee. Emails are also very sensitive because most cyberattacks happen when someone clicks on a malicious link sent to them via email. Public Wi-Fi is also a hotspot for cyber-attacks, and your employees should never access your company network on public Wi-Fi.
4. Perform Regular Security Audits
Regardless of your company’s size, it is important to always test your response team’s preparedness, like in case of an attack. If you do not have an in-house cybersecurity professional, you could seek a skilled freelancer’s services from time to time to look for any vulnerabilities in your system. Penetration testing is important because here you try to use the mindset of a hacker to tell how and where they might try to gain access to your network. You and your IT team also need to have set protocols on how to respond in real time to an attack if it ever comes to that.
5. Install Proper Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware & Anti-Malware Programs
Part of beefing up security against malicious cyber-attacks is using strong anti-virus software. Such a program will usually detect any incoming threats from a mile away and either quarantine or delete them for you. It is also important to have an anti-malware program to protect you from such dreadful attacks like ransomware where your data is locked, and you are forced to pay a ransom to unlock it. A hacker could also plant spyware that will be silently spying on all your activities and so you need to install a proper anti-spyware program.
6. Back Up Data Frequently
Although you could be implementing the best cybersecurity tips and doing all you can to remain on the safe side, it is good to know that some witty hacker may still manage to penetrate your systems. It is therefore wise to always be prepared for the doomsday. A great way to do this is to form a habit of backing up all your data regularly like on the cloud or on external hard drives. This can help greatly because, like a ransomware attack, even paying off the ransom is not guarantee enough that your data will be unlocked. It is therefore better to be safe than sorry.
Technology is without doubt a double-edged sword. It could be your best friend one minute and your worst nightmare the other minute. The business space has benefited immensely from the internet and there is indeed a large cake to be shared for wannabe entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is important to tread safely in these murky waters by implementing the above cybersecurity tips and ensuring that you always stay one step ahead of malicious actors.