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Cybersecurity Checklist for Online Business Owners in 2022

The growth in technology has seen more businesses moving online, which has led to an explosion of user data. Because of this, most online businesses have transitioned to cloud-based platforms intending to simplify most of their business processes.

However, this comes with a major challenge—cybersecurity threats, especially for companies that adopted strong cybersecurity protocols. Statistics released by ITRC revealed that data breaches in the last quarter of 2021 exceeded the number of such incidences in 2020 by 17%. This indicates that online businesses are at a higher risk of cyber threats.

Because of this, online businesses need to be vigilant to secure their sensitive data from hackers. Now, to make sure that you cover all the security bases of your businesses, here’s a cybersecurity checklist for your business. This checklist should allow you to conduct different types of vulnerability assessments.

Make sure that your website is HTTPS enabled

Now that Google Chrome has started marking non-HTTPS sites as insecure, online businesses need to transition to the secure platform. This is because HTTPS encrypts all the information visitors submit to your site before it reaches your server.

Additionally, HTTPS provides data integrity, confirming that any information sent from a website hasn’t been tampered with in transit or intercepted by an unauthorized third party.

Use strong passwords and update them regularly

Hackers are known for their sophisticated harvesting of sensitive information about users through social media platforms such as Facebook. Because of this, you need to use passphrases at least 16 characters long. Also, create different passwords for your different accounts, and use a password manager app to help you.

Also, strong passwords are an essential part of cybersecurity for online businesses. You can do this by adding symbols and numbers in your passphrases to make them harder for hackers to crack. Additionally, you can also adopt two-factor authentication (2FA), which requires users who want access to their accounts on your platform to receive a code via email or text message before they can log in. Also, regularly change your passwords after 30 days despite using strong ones. 

Update your business software regularly

When you fail to update your software regularly, it’s easy for hackers to take advantage of this information gap. Hackers are known for their fast means of exploring new vulnerabilities in systems after being discovered. This means that if your system is vulnerable, they can use it to access sensitive data or steal money from your business without you knowing about the breach until it’s too late. Furthermore, because no updates are being produced for old software anymore, using them makes you more susceptible to cyber threats.

Review security logs and keep an eye on suspicious activities

Businesses should also maintain a record of any suspicious activities that their online platforms go through as part of regular cybersecurity protocols for businesses. If such activity is reported, the security team should investigate its cause to ensure no loopholes in your online security system.

Get rid of inactive user accounts

According to recent research done by Experian, inactive users on social media platforms represent a major security risk for businesses. This is because they leave open doors for hackers looking for vulnerabilities in your systems to exploit them and infiltrate your platform without you knowing about it until it’s too late.

If you notice any suspicious activity from an inactive account or an expired business email address that has been dormant for more than six months, then you need to delete them immediately. Deleting these accounts reduces the chances of being attacked by cybercriminals looking for weak spots on online platforms.

Train your team to avoid phishing attacks

You should also invest in regular cybersecurity training for all staff members to ensure that they are aware of the latest cyber threats. This is because cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to hack into systems. A recent case involved a man who was jailed because he tried hacking into 200 email accounts by sending malware messages via LinkedIn messages. Because this mistake cost him his life savings, you need to train your employees to identify subtle signs of phishing emails and keep their devices safe from malware attacks.

Install an antivirus solution on all your devices

Of course, having an antivirus program installed on every device your employees use is another essential part of cybersecurity for businesses. This is because cybercriminals use such software to steal sensitive information from all types of devices, such as mobile phones and desktops. You should regularly update your antivirus solution, install it on every device that the company uses, and set up automatic updates whenever possible. Also, be sure to create a backup of your files regularly if you suffer a ransomware attack.

Install an internet security solution

Internet security solutions are some of the best network security practices, and are very effective when it comes to protecting online platforms against malware attacks. They give businesses the ability to monitor their online activities to identify suspicious activities early before any damage occurs. For instance, if any user has downloaded several files containing malware via email attachments or visited websites with infected links within 24 hours, you will be able to immediately shut down the compromised accounts or devices before any damage is done.

Remain up-to-date with new threats

Online businesses also need to monitor the latest security trends regularly and update their cybersecurity solutions whenever any new threats are identified. This is because cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways of attacking online platforms with malware, which means that your system needs to be updated in real-time so it can handle all types of attacks. Remember, if you don’t keep your security solution updated at regular intervals with the latest information about potential threats, then your business will always run the risk of becoming another cybercrime statistic.

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