Friday July 17, 2015
How confident are you in the security of your business’s data? With so many variables involved, and with high-profile hacks becoming seemingly daily news, it can be difficult to be sure.
And the fact is, complete security is impossible, and probably always will be. This doesn’t mean you throw up your hands and give up! Just by understanding the basics of cyber security, you will be empowered to take steps to keep your data as safe as it can be.
So, irrespective of any specific best practices and methods, here’s how I recommend looking at cyber security, and how I recommend you go about forming an ongoing strategy to protect your business.
1. Best Practices Evolve Constantly
For me, it’s helpful to think of online security as a predator/prey relationship, where hackers are the predators, and your data is the prey.
There’s a phenomenon in biology known as co-evolution. It describes the way predators and prey tend to evolve together, developing specialized characteristics and techniques for hunting and evading each other.
This pretty closely mirrors the way the world currently deals with cyber crime. Security experts, from the government to credit card companies, develop ever evolving languages, encryptions, and technologies to make online information more secure. At the same time, hackers are constantly coming up with new, creative ways to get around those security measures.
2. Nothing Is Ever Completely Secure
This constant evolution means that “security” is at best temporary, if it’s possible at all. Hackers target high-profile and small targets alike, and have proven that both are vulnerable.
Even the United States government has been compromised by hackers, as well as huge corporations and countless small businesses. These attacks aren’t really anyone’s fault, although many of them are caused by human error. It’s just a fact of the co-evolution of the cops and the robbers.
Don’t get overwhelmed by this knowledge—there are measures you can take to put yourself in a better position. The most important thing is to be aware of the risk, formulate a strategy, and come up with a plan in case of a disaster.
3. Security is Not a One-Time Investment
When we ask business owners about the security of their online information, we get a lot of people telling us that they have had their website “secured.”
The problem is, this doesn’t really mean anything. Security technology is only secure until someone figures out how to get past it. That’s why it’s important to update your firewall, browser, antivirus, and other security measures every time there’s an update available.
That includes your website’s plugins, your point of sale, emails, your password manager, and so much more. You might not realize it, but your business has tons of possible “ins,” and if one part is weak, the whole structure is at risk.
You can’t just secure your business once and then ignore security from there on out.
4. Serious Business Owners Need an Ongoing Security Strategy
Rather than a one-time fix, you need a strategy. You need a plan to protect your customer data and your site, keeping your security constantly maintained and updated.
That means updating your plugins, keeping up with credit card security, securely managing your passwords, backing up your data, and much more.
The benefit is, you become one of the better-prepared in case of an attack. Many hackers will pass over you, simply because you’ve made an effort at security. Security is never absolute, but taking steps to minimize your risk is crucial.
5. Most Small Businesses Aren’t Equipped to Manage Their Own Security
But do you have time to keep up with a security strategy like that? Probably not. And paying for it can add up quickly. In the modern world, online security is a 24-hour job.
We think the way we handle security at AllProWebTools makes a lot of sense. All of our users get automatic security updates—that means you don’t spend any time downloading new versions—as well as 24/7 security from a dedicated team.
We keep up to date with the latest industry standards so our users don’t have to, and we tirelessly implement them into AllProWebTools to provide you with as secure a place to store your company data as we can. We’re committed to security, and we follow all the industry best practices.
But there’s no answer—we aren’t invincible. No one is. We can’t guarantee that someone won’t find a way past our security measures. But we can do a lot more than you can on your own. Leave us to do what we’re great at (computers) and we’ll let you get back to doing what you love—with a little less worry about security weighing you down.
What are your main security concerns for your business? Let us know in the comments!