As a small business owner, you’re probably thrilled to be taking your financial destiny into your own hands, and for good reason. However, being your own boss still means being the boss, and that means tackling a wide variety of factors that can make or break a small business.
This is especially punishing in your early years when you lack the monetary safety net that large corporations have. One such logistical problem you’ll have to solve is protecting your company’s data. Data plays a major role in modern commerce, but it’s also a coveted resource and the target of many hackers. Here’s what you need to know to protect your business from cyber attacks.
Securing your data begins with securing your network, and network security in turn begins with the login process. Since time immemorial, passwords have been the default method of securing an account against unauthorized users, but the fact of the matter is that passwords are woefully insufficient when it comes to the digital age.
An observant and resourceful hacker can guess a person’s password with as little as access to that user’s social media profiles. Publicly available information can often provide clues to a person’s password, because people often generate passwords that are easy to remember and therefore draw from their life experience.
Zero trust seeks to rectify this on one front by diminishing the power of a single login. Simply put, each distinct task will require the login process to be replicated, and this can stall or outright block hackers, preventing a cyber attack that’s already in progress. This can be especially beneficial in cases in which a hacker commandeers a session in progress.
Conversely, multi-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security to the login process itself. It does so by requiring not only a password, but also a 4 digit code that is randomly generated for each new login and, more importantly, sent directly to the user’s smartphone or email. Likewise, multi-factor authentication can be implemented without passwords to provide a password-less login that is more secure than its traditional counterpart.
Another important consideration when it comes to the login process is fortifying passwords themselves. Hackers can crack a password by taking some educated guesses based on common password generation methods and a user’s publicly available information.
For that reason, your passwords need to throw hackers a curveball, and the best way to do so is creating a password that has no meaning whatsoever. Strings of numbers, letters, and symbols have been shown to be more effective deterrents for hackers. While they can still be cracked by brute forcing software, it eliminates the possibility of the password being deduced in a timely fashion.
The first step to protecting your network from hackers is securing the login, but you have miles to go before you sleep. For starters, network traffic monitoring is your first line of defense when it comes to anticipating and preventing cyber attacks in advance. By tracking the actions of a given IP address operating within your network, you can detect unusual behavior, and that behavior may indicate an infiltration attempt or even scouting. From there, you can take action from an informed perspective before the hacker’s plans are set into motion in earnest.
On the other hand, cybersecurity software is important for solving problems that are beyond human capabilities. Intrusion detection and prevention software can automatically handle cyber attacks when they happen, for example, making them essential tools. On the other hand, DDoS attacks are uncommon, due to their complexity, but that complexity also ensures that human effort can do little to stop it once it’s started. DDoS prevention software is therefore a necessity, because DDoS attacks can be incredibly debilitating and can create weaknesses that hackers can exploit further.
Hackers have it out for businesses because of the wealth of data companies need to optimize their profits. However, these simple tips can help you even against the odds.