Having an electronic presence is vital for doing business in the corporate world, but organizations must also defend against web attacks.
In today’s increasingly digitalized world, the internet and other electronic means of communication and interaction are critically important for corporations worldwide to efficiently and effectively conduct business. While it brings the opportunity for corporate growth and visibility, the internet is rife with harmful viruses, malicious software, and is often used by hackers to wreak havoc on individuals and corporations alike. To ensure that your company benefits from web-based commerce rather than fall victim to costly and devastating predatory attacks, there are several protective and preventative steps to be taken.
Safeguarding Against Hacking
For many organizations, the biggest security risks come from “black-hat” hackers who use their technical skills and expertise with a malicious or criminal intent to access financial accounts, steal and manipulate files, and infect host sites with malware, which in turn can be spread rapidly to the computers of others who access the site. These hackers may act individually or in groups, and have been known to target businesses of all sizes and services, from small mom-and-pop stores to large financial firms.
So how can you protect your company’s electronic assets from harm? The best way, which might surprise you, is to hire a hacker of your own. Just as some use their computer skills in a negative manner, there are plenty of skilled specialists who use their technical expertise in a professional and helpful way. These individuals are referred to as “white-hat” hackers. To make sites secure, they attempt to hack into sites using the same attack routes that criminal hackers use. This allows them to test a site’s vulnerability and, in turn, make recommendations for fortifying a site’s defense, which typically involves installing one or more types of preventative and monitoring software and services.
Two of the most critical tasks you can perform to safeguard your company’s website from harm are to keep your software and content management system (CMS) updated, and to back up the website to prevent a total loss of data and critical information if the site is hacked into. Many CMS systems are very convenient and easy to use, and have become quite popular. This popularity helps facilitate the task of carrying out electronic commerce, but it also makes these systems vulnerable to predation from hackers.
To keep your CMS going strong, make sure to regularly check for, and install, software updates for the system, as well as associated plugins and themes. In the event that, despite your best efforts, your organization’s site is attacked, you can significantly reduce the amount of damage done and the amount of downtime by adequately backing up the site. Having a backup plan in place, IT experts agree, is the equivalent of having life insurance for yourself and family members. Without this means of protecting electronic corporate assets, data and vital information is subject to loss.
Additional Tips for Content Safety
In addition to fortifying your company’s website from malicious attacks and establishing a backup plan and using a reliable antivirus, there are several additional simple and effective measures you can take to protect the content on your website. Having an effective and professional webhost is one good way to reduce your business’s risk of electronic predation. The best hosts offer ample security packages, such as daily automatic backups and one-click, instantaneous restoration privileges. These services usually offer different levels of plans, and prices are determined accordingly.
Requiring employees to set strong passwords for accessing valuable financial data online, and even for accessing the company’s social media services, is another effective method of mitigating cyber attacks. Strong passwords are generally long, random, and difficult to guess.
You can also set up a two-factor identity authentication system to protect your company’s website. These services automatically issue unique, one-time use passwords for a company’s employees, which are valid for just one session. They save the trouble of remembering a second password, and provide very good protection. One of the simplest, and often overlooked, ways to ensure your company’s electronic security remains intact is to clarify and assign relevant administrative tasks within your organization. Generally, the fewer people who have access to, and are in charge of, your company’s secure online assets, the better.
Finally, you can help to ensure that your company’s electronic commerce stays up and running by using multiple sites that offer the same services. This means opening social media accounts with several servers, and having a back-up email site.
Many companies use the internet to advertise their products and services, showcase awards and accomplishments, and attract and retain customers. Building and designing an intriguing and engaging homepage takes time and effort, and once you have compiled a site with valuable and unique information, you’ll want to keep it safe from harm. Fortunately, as you’ve seen here, there are several simple and effective ways to accomplish this.