“Cyber security will underpin Australia’s economic prosperity, and will allow small businesses to grow, innovate, and find new ways of creating value for their customers.”
~Small Business Cyber Security Guide 2019
Your business is under attack… and chances are that your business security will struggle to keep those attacks at bay.
Like most businesses in Australia, you rely on the internet. However, online security is where you’re most vulnerable. Increasingly sophisticated and frequent cyber attacks wreak havoc on businesses of all sizes.
According to the 2019 Australian Government Cyber Security Guide for Small Business, organisations need to be aware of, and consciously apply, cyber security measures at every level.
But it’s not just large corporations at risk. More small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are falling prey to attack as well. And, unlike the big guys, SMEs often don’t have a financial buffer to help them recover from an attack. This can result in significant cash flow issues and insolvency.
That’s why you need watertight online business security. Here are the top 5 online business security considerations that you need to look into to make 2020 your most secure year yet.
Business Security Consideration #1 – Network security
Taking your business security seriously starts with protecting your network.
Network security is the process of protecting the confidentiality and accessibility of your computer network. There are three controls to consider:
Physical security means putting barriers in place that stop unauthorised people inside (and outside) your organisation accessing routers and sensitive information. Controls such as password protection and restricted access at different levels of work are just part of the protection plan you need to have in place.
Protecting the data and systems stored on the network is the next part of your approach. Make sure your tech protects your system against the activities of both your employees and unauthorised personnel.
The admin side of formulating your network security plan means creating policies and procedures that control user behaviour.
Get these three controls in line, and you’ll be on your way to protecting your network.
Business Security Consideration #2 – Email security
Most businesses rely on email communication.
Tightening your email security keeps the sensitive information in your emails and accounts secure against unauthorised access, loss or compromise.
Email security threats can come in the form of malware, spam and phishing attacks. They often show up disguised as emails from people and businesses you think you know.
As hackers get more sophisticated, so do their scams. They’ll often try to con you into clicking on a link or attachment that then infects your system.
To protect against email security threats, implement a secure gateway: one that scans and processes all in/out emails, then sifts out threats. Also use an automated email encryption solution to digitally encrypt all sensitive information.
Business Security Consideration #3 – Cloud protection
Cloud computing allows your SME business to operate at scale. The three main benefits of using it in your SME are:
- Reduced cost
Cloud computing can save you the capital outlay and ongoing overhead fees you’d need to buy expensive hardware.
- Reduced admin
The central location of the cloud means you can manage and configure your information all in one place. This reduces overheads and admin, allowing your IT team to focus on other areas of your business.
A secure cloud system means your data, files and systems can be reliably sourced from any device, anywhere in the world.However, with the evolution of cloud storage on the market, security threats are getting more and more sophisticated.Secure cloud protection works to safeguard your business data from corruption or leakage. At this same time, it also protects your customers’ privacy and supports regulatory compliance.The best thing about cloud protection is that it centralises your business security, just as cloud computing centralises your applications and data.
Business Security Consideration #4 – a Firewall
For over 25 years, firewalls have been the first line of defence for network security.
A firewall is either a hardware device or a software application that acts as a barrier between untrusted external networks and trusted internal networks. Its functions are based on a set of rules that your administrator will apply.
The three most common types of firewalls used by SMEs are:
- Packet filter
Packet filters are the least expensive type of firewall. They examine the packets that cross over the firewall and test them. They then either allow the packets in or block them out, based on a predetermined set of rules.
- Stateful inspection
A stateful inspection firewall monitors the state of active connections, ports and protocols, and uses the information to either allow or block traffic. Your administrator can set up your stateful inspection rules in advance for the firewall to follow.
- Proxy server
A proxy server acts as a gateway between your system and the internet. It’s a go-between server that separates you, as an end user, from the websites you browse.You can arrange for your proxy server to encrypt your web requests to keep unauthorised employees from reading your activity. The server can also stop known malware sites from accessing any part of your system.
Business Security Consideration #5 – Endpoint protection
Cloud computing means your employees (and you) can work remotely via laptops or other wireless and mobile devices.
However, while that’s great for working flexibly and reducing costs, it does leave your network vulnerable to attack.
Each remote device creates a new entry point that attackers can corrupt. Endpoint security software protects your corporate network, including mobile and wireless devices, by:
- identifying sensitive data and encrypting it
- blocking the copying or transfer of certain files or sensitive data based on predetermined rules.
Protect your assets with the right business security
Tackling these five cyber security considerations will give you peace of mind and protect your SME from threat or disruption. Safeguard your website, accounts and network systems today, so you can focus on growing, scaling and doing what your business does best.
Need some hands-on help to get your business security up to scratch? Call Telstra Business Technology Centre Melbourne City today on 1300 781 711. Or click here to email us.