Protecting your business from being compromised is a major headache these days, so what can you do to limit the risk.
The single most important aspect of protecting your business is to insulate your data from the public network. Place it on a private cloud, or use a VPN with encryption or a proxy server — whatever you do, make sure you’re doing something, because the public network simply isn’t safe. This may be obvious to some, but many small business owners aren’t yet aware of the risks that come with the public network.
When you’re on a public-facing network, there are bound to be all kinds of security breach issues. You’re exposing yourself to literally billions of people. Can you trust billions of people? no. So why not limit that to hundreds? Then, within those hundreds, limit their access even further. Make sure they have to validate their identity with two-factor or multifactor authentication before they access the network. If possible, limit their access within the network; no employee needs access to everything. Members working in development don’t necessarily need to access information from the finance department, and vice versa. Have set policies on which data is accessible by whom, and segment that access on a granular level.
From there, you can use your private network to limit the sites each user can access outside of your network. You don’t want someone on the same device hopping around the public internet, potentially collecting malware, and then signing into your private network. Limit their access so that they have to use a separate device for that.
If you’re not sure what’s best for you, or you’re not sure you have the resources to balance it, consider hiring a credible third-party company to manage your cybersecurity, rather than trying to do it all yourself. Many offer a subscription model, so you’re paying per device, which saves you money and allows you to scale up or down as needed.
Ultimately, you have to decide where your energy is best spent. Cybersecurity is essential, but if you’re running a company, you might not have time to act as CISO — or the resources to hire one. That’s where connecting with a third party can be valuable.
In today’s world, it seems like every other day we’re reading headlines about the latest data breach or new hacking strategy. It can get overwhelming, but no matter the size of your company, remember that cybersecurity is still within your power. You can still do something: You can still start.
Don’t let the pressure to be perfect prevent you from doing something proactive — every step does something, and every layer of protection is another step toward keeping your data secure.