Cybersecurity remains one of the top challenges for small and medium businesses. Whether you have a website, an eCommerce shop, online accounts or a web-based infrastructure, cybercrime is a constant threat.
While we hear about cyber attacks against large companies, such as banks, IT companies, and government websites, cybercrime is all-pervasive. Small and medium businesses are not immune to cyber theft, phishing, and other forms of cyber-attack.
However, small businesses are least prepared for these kinds of breaches owing to lack of information, resources and a well-formed cybersafety policy.
We have compiled a list of cybersecurity solutions that every small business can afford and implement to gain enterprise-level protection.
1] Free Private Email Service
In the past couple of years, there have been several privacy scandals with mainstream email providers. There is so much at risk, so businesses especially can’t afford to be lax with their email communication.
From valuable contacts to sensitive information, regulatory and compliance data, there is so much information in emails that can put you at risk if your account gets compromised.
Some of the main public email services routinely violate your privacy and sell your information to third parties. You can stay secure by utilizing free private email service accounts that are fully encrypted, access controlled, and sneak-proof. Most free private email service providers also offer some of the following features.
- Forward Secrecy.
- Two Factor Authentication.
- IP Address Stripping.
- Meta Data Secrecy.
- Forwarding Control.
- Full Future Revocability.
2] Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
VPNs offer more than a connection for geo-restricted streaming TV. For businesses, VPNs provide a secure way to connect and browse the internet.
Cybersecurity experts recommend that businesses use VPNs at all times when connecting to the internet.
The reason for this is that VPNs provide encrypted connections, thereby securing your devices and sensitive information while keeping your IP address hidden. This gives you complete browsing anonymity.
Today, it is extremely important to manage the remote working and geographically distributed workforce. VPN provides the ultimate privacy and security.
Small businesses need to protect their users and data, but often lack the tech budgets to invest in the software that enables this. By making a small investment in VPN service accounts for their users, businesses can ensure military-grade encryption of data, secure authentication and access to web apps and services.
3] Protect Yourself with WhoIsGuard
Every business that has a website, needs a memorable address or name. The catchier and easier it is to remember, the better for your business. To register your web address or domain, or to even find out if it is available you will need the services of a domain name registrar.
However, when a new domain is registered, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires the business to file details such as the owner’s contact information (name, address, email and phone number). This information is added to to the WHOIS public database. This is a searchable database – accessible by anyone on the internet.
This means that hackers can potentially spam you or hijack your domain and identity.
You can avoid this by choosing a vendor that works with WhoisGuard.
WhoisGuard eliminates the potential hacking threat by placing your private information in ‘whois’. It also offers the option to redirect email to the customer’s real address.
Businesses can gain WhoisGuard protection as an add-on to domains registered with the partnering registrars.
4] Next Generation Firewall
While firewalls are a standard security measure used by a majority of businesses, smarter businesses go a step further and implement next-generation firewalls (NGFW).
But what is next-generation firewall (NGFW)? Gartner defines it as a “deep-packet inspection firewall that moves beyond port/protocol inspection and blocking to add application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and bringing intelligence from outside the firewall.”
NGFWs offer the following additional features.
- application awareness.
- integrated intrusion prevention systems (IPS).
- bridged and routed modes.
- identity awareness — user and group control.
- ability to use external intelligence sources.
5] HTTPS Everywhere
This is a best practice security measure for websites to make sure that the full user experience is protected from online threats.
Small businesses can implement HTTPS everywhere on their website to secure their data when a user visits the website.
This is because each website that is HTTP, is considered “unsafe” by search engines, especially Google. It is available as a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension and also for Android web browsers and is released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.