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Lock it Down!

Why All Digital Businesses Need to Be Concerned About Security

The internet is a vital tool when it comes to business, and many successful ventures exist and operate entirely online. This gives businesses immense flexibility to develop and deploy products and services at a mass scale, whilst also engaging a wide audience.

However, the internet does come with big risks, especially when it is down to website and data security. Many businesses are recognizing the importance of data, with 61% of senior business leaders stating that data is becoming as valuable to their companies as their existing products and services.

With such a high value being placed on data, it’s no surprise that hackers are taking a particular interest in it. This isn’t something that just large businesses should be worried about, either. SMEs are at particular risk of being hacked as they typically have fewer security resources when compared to their larger counterparts.

If You Have a Website, or Do any Business Online, You Must Be Vigilant

Website security systems should be thought of in the same way as business insurance; in an ideal world, you will never need it, but when things go wrong, it will save you. The easiest hack to recover from is one that doesn’t happen in the first place. Therefore, having a robust website security system in place can save you time, effort and resources in the long run.

Adding security elements to your website or app, like a solid web application firewall, can help reduce the amount of bad requests they receive from threats like malicious bots, therefore keeping your data safe. Web application firewalls can also help protect against other threats, such as SQL injections, which are a common hacking tactic using malicious code, especially for database-style CMSs such as WordPress.

Being hacked can be disastrous for a small business, as it can result in fines due to insufficient security, damaged business reputation, and in extreme cases, ransoms needing to be paid to recover data safely from hackers.

What Can Businesses Do to Protect Their Data?

On top of using a web application firewall, making sure two-step authentication is rolled out across all sensitive accounts is also essential to reduce the risk of a successful attack. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to confidential data by using phishing and other data-collection attacks.

If your business handles extremely sensitive information, you should also regularly carry out risk assessments, including analysis of your digital networks and infrastructure, as well as your staff. This will highlight any strengths and weaknesses with your digital security.

Finally, every digital business should have a form of plan in place should a security breach occur. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office recommend a four-step process for this, which includes:

  1. Containment and recovery
  2. Assessment of the risks associated with the breach
  3. Notification and communication of the breach
  4. Investigation, evaluation and response, including updating any systems accordingly

Digital security doesn’t have to be daunting for businesses. Simply taking care of the basics, as well as having a solid strategy in place should things go wrong is often all that’s required. For many businesses, security is an afterthought that slips to the bottom of the to-do list. However, neglecting these responsibilities can be an extremely expensive mistake, and it’s always worth implementing these systems into a business from the very beginning.

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