Protecting Your Business from Cyber-Criminals

Even small businesses can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which can compromise not only your company’s integrity, but possibly result in leaks of sensitive information, proprietary secrets, financial data, and client information. Ensuring your computer systems and online activities are protected will be an asset for you and your customers. B.S. Consulting offers a range of resources that can help keep your business operating in a safe and secure manner.

What is Cyber-Crime?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cybercrime includes activities like email scams, identity theft, and the installation of ransomware that holds data captive in exchange for monetary payment. Malware and viruses can also compromise or shut down your network. Some types of cyber-crime are highly sophisticated, which makes them even tougher to identify and eradicate. Your best defense, in this case, is a good offense. Making sure your systems are secure and that you’re alerted to suspicious activity will keep you, your business, and your customers protected.

What’s the Damage of Cyber-Crime?

On the low end of the spectrum, small attacks can result in slow-operating systems, glitches, corrupted files, and reduced productivity. On the higher end of the scope, cyber-crime can be financially devastating for you or your clients. You also run the risk of having your reputation ruined if you have a data breach. Consumers need to know the companies they do business with are protecting their personal and financial information, so guarding against cyber threats is a critical function of business operations. 

How Criminals Target Businesses

The majority of cyber-crime is financially motivated, so hackers and bad actors look for opportunities to steal money. This might be in the form of lifting identities and getting new credit or access to finances under those names. Skimming credit card data is another approach, while phishing scams that trick people into sending money under the guise of legitimacy are another. Criminals may also target wealthy individuals, as well as businesses that have wealthy clients or are likely to have financial information for clients in their databases. Criminals look for unprotected systems that are easy to access.

Why You Must Train Employees

Having anti-cyber-crime protocols in place can help reduce your company’s vulnerability. According to PC Mag, instruct employees about proper online activity and information protection. Also, be detailed in explaining what type of information is shareable and what is not, and institute strict password guidelines to help reduce the potential for botnets that spread malware. Staffers should also be instructed to immediately report any activity that appears unusual or suspicious. If you have an IT staffer or consultant, regularly-scheduled diagnostic system reviews can also help identify areas of concern.

Be Proactive in Protecting Networks

Preparation is key to reducing the potential for security breaches. In addition to training employees, back up your systems regularly and update software as necessary. If you aren’t a cybersecurity expert, enlists the services of someone who is. This is a rapidly evolving field, and professionals who work in it every day are up to speed on relevant best practices. Consider hiring a freelance cybersecurity professional from a reputable job board. Weigh reviews, delivery time, and cost before retaining someone’s services.

The world of cyber-crime is continually advancing, evolving, and becoming more and more sophisticated. To protect yourself, your business, and your clients, ensuring the security of your networks is an issue of paramount importance. If you are hacked or otherwise infiltrated, fast action is a necessity. Contact B.S. Consulting to learn more about the best ways to prevent and appropriately respond to cybercrime activity in your business. Call (512) 434-0611 or reach out via email.

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Improve internet security with these easy tips

With over four billion internet users around the globe totaling roughly 59% of the population, the internet is rife with opportunities for hackers to steal users’ information. And with technology constantly evolving and the internet growing, it’s not likely to get safer anytime soon. It therefore pays to take extra precautions when surfing the web. We’ve compiled these three easy tips that can amp up your online security.

Tip 1: Use HTTPS

Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS indicates that a website has an extra layer of security for its users. This layer encrypts data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server that delivers the data requested by the user. To use a simpler comparison, imagine someone tapping your landline, but instead of getting to listen in on your conversations, they’ll hear people speaking in tongues instead.

In August 2014, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announced that having HTTPS makes your website rank higher in its search algorithm. And since October 2017, the browser began flagging non-HTTPS websites as not secure whenever users try to fill out something as simple as a contact form on it. In July 2018, Chrome started showing a “not secure” warning on any website that does not implement HTTPS, whether or not users are filling out a form there.

Because of Google’s measures, the security protocol has been widely adopted. Even if your website does not contain or ask for sensitive information, implementing HTTPS engenders trust and a sense of security among internet users, while remaining on HTTP will make web visitors abandon or avoid you sooner or later.

Tip 2: Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)

Since account credentials can be easily stolen via phishing attacks, username and password combos are no longer enough to keep bad actors at bay. To ensure that the one accessing an account is truly that account’s owner, additional identity authentication steps must be implemented.

These steps can involve the use of the account holder’s device — the one logging in must first verify their phone number, receive a one-time password on their smartphone, then enter that code in the access portal before the code’s validity lapses. Alternatively, MFA may ask for a face, retina, voice, or fingerprint scan for authentication.

MFA can be a bit of a hassle for your internal and external users, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for immensely effective cybersecurity.

Tip 3: Update browsers and devices

Did you know that dated versions of browsers, operating systems, and even other software packages can create an easy entry point for hackers? Often, new updates are created specifically to fix security holes. However, people tend to procrastinate and leave applying updates for another day. Hackers take advantage of this by searching for outdated devices to infiltrate while their victims watch YouTube on last year’s version of Firefox.

Yes, installing an update might take 15 minutes of your time, but this time investment can pay dividends in terms of preventing a security breach that could cost you or your business thousands.

Looking for more tips to boost your internet security? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

This post was originally published on this site

Improve internet security with these easy tips

With over four billion internet users around the globe totaling roughly 59% of the population, the internet is rife with opportunities for hackers to steal users’ information. And with technology constantly evolving and the internet growing, it’s not likely to get safer anytime soon. It therefore pays to take extra precautions when surfing the web. We’ve compiled these three easy tips that can amp up your online security.

Tip 1: Use HTTPS

Short for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS indicates that a website has an extra layer of security for its users. This layer encrypts data exchanged between a user’s browser and the web server that delivers the data requested by the user. To use a simpler comparison, imagine someone tapping your landline, but instead of getting to listen in on your conversations, they’ll hear people speaking in tongues instead.

In August 2014, Google Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, announced that having HTTPS makes your website rank higher in its search algorithm. And since October 2017, the browser began flagging non-HTTPS websites as not secure whenever users try to fill out something as simple as a contact form on it. In July 2018, Chrome started showing a “not secure” warning on any website that does not implement HTTPS, whether or not users are filling out a form there.

Because of Google’s measures, the security protocol has been widely adopted. Even if your website does not contain or ask for sensitive information, implementing HTTPS engenders trust and a sense of security among internet users, while remaining on HTTP will make web visitors abandon or avoid you sooner or later.

Tip 2: Embrace multifactor authentication (MFA)

Since account credentials can be easily stolen via phishing attacks, username and password combos are no longer enough to keep bad actors at bay. To ensure that the one accessing an account is truly that account’s owner, additional identity authentication steps must be implemented.

These steps can involve the use of the account holder’s device — the one logging in must first verify their phone number, receive a one-time password on their smartphone, then enter that code in the access portal before the code’s validity lapses. Alternatively, MFA may ask for a face, retina, voice, or fingerprint scan for authentication.

MFA can be a bit of a hassle for your internal and external users, but a little inconvenience is a small price to pay for immensely effective cybersecurity.

Tip 3: Update browsers and devices

Did you know that dated versions of browsers, operating systems, and even other software packages can create an easy entry point for hackers? Often, new updates are created specifically to fix security holes. However, people tend to procrastinate and leave applying updates for another day. Hackers take advantage of this by searching for outdated devices to infiltrate while their victims watch YouTube on last year’s version of Firefox.

Yes, installing an update might take 15 minutes of your time, but this time investment can pay dividends in terms of preventing a security breach that could cost you or your business thousands.

Looking for more tips to boost your internet security? Get in touch to find out how we can help.

This post was originally published on this site