Sadly, however, there are still too many companies who fail to put the right time and effort into thwarting hackers at the front door of their computer systems.
As a result, these businesses leave themselves open to an attack, an attack which oftentimes has devastating public relations and financial repercussions.
As 2016 enters its second month, is this the year that you and your brand take a stand against hackers? If so, what are some means by which to do just that?
Have a Plan and Execute It
In order for your business to improve its odds of keeping hackers away from your brand, you must have a plan and execute it.
Part of the plan is regularly checking to see where your business might be most vulnerable (your website, in-house computers, social media etc.) and knowing how to limit the odds of being hit.
To start with, having total freedom in web browsing does come with a price, a price that you must be willing to pay.
Look at the size of your company and exactly how many employees (you might be the only member) are actively engaged online on a daily basis. With that, see where the cracks and holes may be, problems that could lead you to being the most vulnerable to hackers.
Among the potential problem areas to explore:
- Working with a web hosting company who does not put an emphasis on security;
- Allowing employees too much freedom on social media;
- Falling victim to scams that compromise your computer network’s integrity.
In looking at just these three potential problems, first know who you are working with.
If your web hosting company is lackadaisical when it comes to protecting your website, it is time to find a new provider.
Ask them if they regularly do security checks to see what the latest tactics hackers are trying to implement. Does the provider also monitor your website on a regular basis, looking for anything out of the ordinary? Finally, what protocols do they have in place in the event your website is hacked? A provider that acts right away instead of when they get around to it is the one you want to opt for.
Next, how much freedom do your workers have when it comes to surfing the web during the business day?
Should Your Business Be More Social?
Some companies allow for a reasonable amount of time on social media and other approved sites, while other businesses all but forbid it.
You have to decide early on if your employees will be allowed certain Internet freedoms in the office or if they will be asked to focus squarely on their jobs. Keep in mind that social media usage by your workers can actually help promote your brand, so don’t be too fast to discount how it can help you.
On the flip side, social media can pose a danger to you and your business when used improperly.
For example, if one or more of your employees are using social media to discuss company operations, client data etc., a hacker can easily manipulate the conversation and gain access to your computer system.
The same holds true if someone with ill intent sends you a job application/resume. They could post a fake social media link on their resume, hoping you or someone in your office will download it. Once that happens, malware could be installed in your system, allowing hackers to gain access to company and/or client data that should never go public.
One final area to look at is the sites you and/or your employees browse.
Some sites may look innocent, but they in fact can be downright dangerous for your computer/s.
If you are the least bit suspicious about a site you or an employee comes across or someone proposing you download an attachment that just doesn’t feel right, plot the safer course and just avoid it.
Building and refining your brand takes time and effort.
Staying one step ahead of hackers should never be something you take lightly, especially in a day and age where the web is full of people with misguided intentions.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and technology topics on the web.