How to Protect Your Business Website and Computers from Cyber Crime

April 29th, 2014

IT Consultant in an Office working on his Laptop

Cyber crimes such as identity theft and unauthorised financial transactions can cost businesses money and time. Businesses that cannot guarantee the security of customer data may also suffer reputation damage. Taking proactive measures to secure business websites and data against malware, fraudulent activities, and data loss and breaches are essential in any business risk management policy.

Secure your business website

Having an automated routine for backing up your website enables your organisation to recover quickly from any issues, including those associated with cyber crime. Ask your web developer or web-hosting service provider about how to set up automated backups for your website. Additionally, discuss security measures such as authentication and encryption for your website with your IT advisor.

Back up data

Losing customer and business data can result in costs in terms of money and time. Fortunately, there are numerous data-backup options available, including cloud software. Every business should have a regular, comprehensive backup routine for their data and website. Back up at least once a day or as often as recommended by your IT advisor.

Use Internet security software

Purchase Internet security software from a reputable manufacturer and ensure that it is kept up to date with malware definitions. While the software won’t be able to secure your computers from all types of attacks, it can protect your system and data from many types of malware, malicious attacks, and data theft. It can also target spam more effectively than your regular email service.

Update hardware

Obsolete hardware might not be compatible with more recent software programs. If your network is running an older operating systems that is no longer being updated by the manufacturer, you will not be able to access security patches and other support. In this case, you might need to consider updating your hardware to keep your business and data secure.

Designate responsibility for security

Your business data and website will be more secure if you make security a part of a team member’s job description and ensuring that he or she is held accountable for it. If your business does not have dedicated IT technicians or team, designate responsibility for security to a specific staff member.

This individual should be responsible for enforcing password updates, carrying out data and website backups, and conducting malware-definition updates. If possible, grant administrator access to only this individual.

Define policies and practices

Your employees can be your best line of defence against cyber crime. Define, communicate, and update your policies and practices to encourage a strong culture of security in your organisation. Educate your employees about safe data practices and on how to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. If your business has a bring-your-own-device system, ensure that policies are also developed and enforced for these devices.

Use a dedicated computer for banking

Online banking can present serious risks to businesses if there are no adequate security measures in place. In addition to passwords and internet security software, consider using a single dedicated computer for all online transactions. Avoid using the same computer for email, social media, or surfing the internet.

Subscribe to cyber security alerts

Stay informed by subscribing to cyber security alerts, which will keep you up to date about the latest news and practices. The Australian government provides an alert service known as Stay Smart Online.  The ACCC’s SCAMwatch is another initiative that provides useful information on scams to businesses and consumers.

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