Businesses have been warned about the importance of cyber security – and website security, in particular – for so many years that it’s possible you’re becoming desensitized. However, avoid this temptation, as risks will be exponentially higher in the coming year.
Threats to be Aware of in 2017
“In March 2016, Google reported that more than 50 million website users have been warned about a website they’re visiting may contain malware or steal information,” WPBeginner explains. “Furthermore, Google blacklists around 20,000 websites for malware and around 50,000 for phishing each week.” In other words, you need to pay attention to security if you don’t want your website to become part of a statistic.
Here are a few threats to be aware of in the coming months.
· Extortion hacks. Ever since the Sony attack in 2014, hackers have become fonder of using ransomware as a tool for extortion. And because there really isn’t much law enforcement can do, companies usually have to pay up or lose their data.
· Data manipulation. One trend that experts expect to see rise in 2017 is data manipulation. This is when a hacker accesses sensitive material and makes changes to it without the company knowing. The result is chaos, frustration, and massive security issues.
· Phishing. Good old-fashioned phishing will still be common in 2017. Hackers will find new strategies and attempt to spring them on unsuspecting people – usually via email.
No business owner wants to believe their business is being targeted, but that’s exactly what’s happening to thousands of companies around the world. It’s a real problem that needs real solutions.
Three Security Tips for Your Business
As you can see, hackers are getting more sophisticated and more creative in their methodologies. It’s up to you to stay one step ahead of them by employing some tactics.
1. Strengthen Employee Protocols
Your employees need to know that security is a priority in your organization. Not only that, but they also need to know that they play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the organization’s security plan.
Reassess your current strategy and actively work to strengthen employee protocols so that you aren’t exposing your organization to unnecessary risk through a few “weak links.” Employees need to know that their actions matter.
2. Enhance Password Protection Efforts
“Everyone knows they should use complex passwords, but that doesn’t mean they always do,” Creative Bloq admits. “It is crucial to use strong passwords to your server and website admin area, but equally also important to insist on good password practices for your users to protect the security of their accounts.”
We’ll assume that you already have some internal password protection methods in place, so turn your focus toward your customers/users this year. If their accounts are vulnerable, so is your company.
3. Require Server Side Validation
Validation needs to happen both on the browser and server side, yet many businesses forget about the latter part of the equation. Browser side validation can catch little things, but they can easily be bypassed by people who know what they’re doing. With server side validation, you can prevent the likelihood of malicious code being inserted into your database.
Take Cybersecurity Seriously
If you aren’t taking cybersecurity seriously in 2017, then you’re playing with fire. It’s no longer a question of if a hacker will attempt to compromise your business, but rather when. Thousands of attacks happen each year on small businesses and the only way you can ensure you’re protected is by developing a proactive plan that secures your systems in advance. What will you do?