The internet and advancements in technology have provided plenty of excellent opportunities for businesses across all sectors. Yet there have also been a number of risks evolve, with the primary one being the constant threat of hacking in its many guises. If a 15-year-old can access government intelligence operations through social engineering, then businesses need to be doing more to try and prevent becoming a victim themselves. There are a few ways London companies can reduce the threat.
As hackers’ methods change and improve, so do computer operating systems and virus protection software to become better equipped for safeguarding against them. The majority regularly update their systems, so it is important to be signed up for the automatic updates. Hackers are always on the lookout to target systems that haven’t updated, with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claiming that the cost to each business for falling victim to malware infections and hacking is around £4,000, so regular updates can save money too.
Use Encryption Software
Data encryption is necessary for online businesses that accept the likes of MasterCard as payment. Encryption is used to protect customers’ financial information when paying by credit card, though it can be difficult for small businesses to fully encrypt their website with a lack of resources and finances. If this is the case for you, then consider outsourcing the payment process to a company that does offer encryption. Even if a hacker manages to get into your company computer system, encryption offers another barrier.
Test Your Protection
With processes and software in place to try and best reduce hacking, the next step can be to undergo penetration testing to see where nay vulnerabilities and weaknesses still exist. Where any such problems are highlighted, you can then put a plan of action together to eliminate these in the real world. Only when you are happy that such weaknesses have been addressed can you be fully sure that hacking risks have been lowered.
Clamp Down on BYOD
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon refers to employees using their own smartphones, laptops, tablets and more to access business information. These devices need to be secured along the same lines as any company ones, to avoid data breaches. For small businesses it’s more likely that employees will be using their own laptops for work purposes, so set up a policy, encrypt work data and provide the same protection software.
Reducing and hopefully eliminating any hacking risks will be vital for many London businesses to succeed.