As news reports of Internet hacking become more and more common, it’s important for every business owner to think about computer security. Hackers don’t just target big companies like Sony and MasterCard. They also attack small businesses, especially companies that neglect to take adequate security measures. If hackers infiltrate your firm’s computer system, they could destroy vital data, gain access to customers’ credit cards or even blackmail you.
If your business has more than one Internet-connected computer, you probably have a network. Weaknesses in wired and wireless networks often make them easy targets for cyber attacks. It’s important to secure wireless routers with passwords. Unless you run a cafe, offering free Wi-Fi access to the public is probably more dangerous than it’s worth. It remains safer to use a fully wired network. However, you’ll need to watch out for unauthorized wireless access points that employees might install.
Keep in mind that staff members and visitors may bring personal computer equipment or media into your business. Your company should have clear policies that ban potentially harmful devices. For example, disks and USB drives might contain viruses from home computers. Bringing confidential data home also creates new security risks. Furthermore, an unapproved wireless access point could allow hackers in a neighboring building or parking lot to reach your wired network.
Using a Firewall
Firewalls stop intruders from connecting to PCs or communicating with them in any manner. Be sure to activate your operating system’s firewall or install third-party software. If you use a router to connect to the Internet, verify that its built-in firewall is running and properly configured. Router-based firewalls offer greater protection because they can often stop harmful communications from ever reaching individual computers. You may need to customize the settings depending on what Internet services your employees use.
Hackers frequently use viruses and spyware to facilitate cyber attacks. It’s crucial to install business anti-virus software on any computer that accesses the Internet or uses removable media that your staff connects to multiple PCs. To gain protection from the most recent malware, download the latest updates as often as possible. Consider using two or more anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities; some programs will detect certain viruses sooner than others.
You can also reduce the risk of hacking by limiting Internet access so that users can only reach necessary websites and services. It’s possible to accomplish this by changing settings on a network router or installing specialized security software. For example, you could block access to major social media websites, Internet chat systems and instant messaging services. Employers may stop some software downloads by blocking ports 20 and 21. Email filtering can prevent many viruses and “phishing” scams from affecting your business.
You cannot completely rely on hardware and software to protect your firm’s computers. It’s vital to hire people who understand basic online security precautions. Background checks can help you avoid any employees with malicious intentions. Staff training also plays a critical role. Be sure to warn office workers about the latest deceptive techniques that hackers are using. Employees should always feel free to request assistance when they have concerns about Internet security.
When you need to protect your computer systems and data, financial resources also prove important. Business-grade security software can cost a substantial amount of money. As your firm takes steps to enhance security, you may also need to pay overtime or hire contractors. A business loan from Advanced Funds Network can help you accomplish this. We don’t require collateral or a high credit score. Our company has earned the Better Business Bureau’s top rating. To learn more, please call 888-310-3110 today.