Protecting your business from the dangers of the internet can seem overwhelming and extremely complex. As businesses increasingly rely on technology, stringent measures in cyber security and protection are also necessary.
Cybercrime does not discriminate. Nor is it uncommon. Every organisation’s computer and online networks are susceptible to hackers, viruses, email phishing, malware and ransomware attacks.
According to a recent Australian Cyber Security Centre survey, small businesses report a cybercrime incident every 10 minutes. The estimated cost of annual losses from cybercrime is upwards of $300 million.
Usually, financial damage is only one consequence of cyberattacks. Businesses can also suffer from loss of reputation and diminished goodwill, leading to customer turnover. Rebuilding customer relationships and market share ends up costing more than just time and money.
Keeping your business data and network safe and secure doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. Below, we list our top 5 cyber security tips on what you can do to stay protected and prevent cybercrime and malicious internet attacks.
Keep passwords strong and long
As a business has multiple employees using multiple devices to log into multiple websites or to access different software, it can be quite tempting to choose a generic password. However, strong passwords are a must. Not only to secure to ensure outsiders can’t gain access to your software and websites, but to ensure that critical customer information, like payment details, are kept private. Periodical reminders to change them are also important.
Stuck on what to use? Make sure your password is:
- Long. Use at least 14 characters, we find that stringing a series of random words put together works perfectly
- Memorable but unique. Use an uncommon or unusual phrase or combination of words that only you will remember, and a hacker wouldn’t know.
- Complex. Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as special characters and numbers.
- Unpredictable. If hackers know personal details such as the name of your pets, they can use this information toguess your password. Don’t use easily obtainable information such as birthdays, current addresses or your spouse’s name and personal information. Avoid natural number or alphabet sequences such as abcd1234
- Random. Forget pet names or favourite foods. Create a password that’s unexpected. Need inspiration? Think of a memorable incident from past places you’ve lived or visited or a particularly fun memory from your childhood.
When it comes to sharing passwords with employees, there’s a few rules to consider:
- Limit access. Only give password information to relevant staff who need access to that platform or device.
- Use password protection software. A password storage and sharing tool can keep relevant employees updated as passwords change to keep access restricted. It also hinders employees from sharing passwords casually among the team.
- Password storage. Do not keep a document that lists all your passwords. Do not send passwords via email as well. If an employee’s email account is compromised, ‘password’ is the first thing that hackers will search for.
- Set regulations and guidelines. To keep all company devices safe and protected, let staff know the criteria they need to meet in setting their passwords. Create a guideline sheet with password and cyber security requirements and pass it around the team, ensuring everyone has a copy at their desk.
Educate and train your team
Expanding on our last point in setting guidelines for the team, make the time to train staff on the company’s policies and procedures for cyber security.
Training sessions are a great opportunity to educate employees about the dangerous realities of cyber threat. It’s also essential that staff members are made aware that they all play an important role in keeping your business safe.
Training sessions should include discussions about:
- The importance of maintaining strong passwords
- How to identify and prevent cyber threats
- The possible kinds of cyber threats that can occur
- What to do when a cyber threat occurs
- How and to whom they should report a cyber threat
Remember staff also need to be regularly updated with any company policy or procedural changes. Annual or quarterly training sessions will help keep cyber security as a high priority among your team.
Have a data back-up strategy
While the task may seem a daunting, backing up data is highly critical for any business. It can save you from critical data loss, as well as financial ruin.
Once a strategy for data back up and storage is established, making it a regular procedure is straightforward. Depending on your business requirements, there’s a few considerations:
- Back up often. Ideally, you want to back up regularly. This can be daily with incremental back-ups to a portable device or cloud storage. Furthermore, you could look into a server back-ups at the end of each week, month and year.
- Keep storage devices off-site. Don’t risk having physical storage devices being damaged or robbed. Think about where you can store your data in a location that is at a safe distance from your office.
- Regular checks. Make sure that your data is easily restored. It’s one thing to have it stored away, it’s another if you can’t retrieve it again.
Keep software up-to-date
Outdated software may not only cause disruption and delays. Without regular updates, your network and devices leave can be exploited. Your business is left vulnerable to potential hackers.
Updating software regularly and proactively also ensures that potential exploits are dealt with ahead of time and your systems are kept secure.
Schedule updates after business hours or another convenient time when employees are less likely to be online if downtime on certain software is an issue. Updates will potentially fix security vulnerabilities and flaws. This is also a great time to check if there have been any cyberattack attempts.
Security solutions for financial data
When it comes to important financial data like payroll or taking and making payments, there is no room for risk. But where to begin? Here are some important pointers:
- Use encryption. Converting data into another form or code, or sending information over the internet, encryption keeps information secure. The codes keep the data confidential as it transfers through networks. Once it reaches its authorised recipient, the code is deciphered or unscrambled. Encryption can be used to add an extra layer of security for internet and computer networks as well as data.
- Use MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). As a verification security process, MFA requires the user to provide two or more proofs of identification for access. For example, a user may require a password and a code sent to their mobile before given access. MFA can be used for highly confidential documents, company online payroll, accounting and payment systems.
- Software Security Certification. For businesses that rely heavily on ecommerce or provide online services, securing their website with SSL/TSL certification is critical. Information transferring between your website to the server is usually in plain text, leaving it vulnerable for hackers. SSL/TSL certification provides end-to-end encryption, securing your data.
B2Bpay: The Secure Payment Solution
When it comes to paying and taking payments online, it’s important that your system is efficient and saves you from paperwork. More importantly, you need to safeguard your company’s data and financial information. It is wise to ensure you have thehighest cyber security and protection.
B2Bpay is an online payment portal for businesses to pay all their bills using their existing credit cards, debit cards or bank account. Completely secure and safe, all cards are tokenised meaning B2Bpay never stores card numbers in full.
As a B2Bpay Biller, you can email invoices securely, and your customers can pay with ease on your secure payment page, resting assured their card details are protected.
Alongside its security features, B2Bpay offers a range of other benefits for your business:
- Earn credit card points AND Qantas points when paying business expenses.
- Earn full points when paying ATO, government and utility bills.
- Use your credit card’s up to 55-day interest free period, helping boost cash flow.
- Save time and integrate your accounting software – XERO, MYOB or QuickBooks.
- Easy and secure to use on multiple devices.
- Tracking and monitoring transactions from any device at any time.
The B2Bpay solution is Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) Certified, meaning you don’t need to worry about credit card compliancy issues. Reaching all Australian business standards and requirements for credit card data security management, your business and customers are well-protected with B2Bpay.
B2Bpay’s maximum security features give business owners confidence and peace of mind, knowing that whether it’s making or taking payments, nothing gets lost or stolen, and their customer payment information is kept secure
B2Bpay: Keeping you, your business and customers cyber safe and protected
When it comes to the security of your business data, there are no compromises. Give your employees and customers confidence that B2Bpay will protect their details with every transaction.
Sign up for FREE today. If you have questions or need further information, contact our locally based Customer Support team on 1300 625 647