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Cyber Security

Embarking on a Cyber-Secure Journey: Things You Can Do Today To Make Your Business More Secure

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by Web Design Southampton

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Drawing inspiration from the US Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’re embracing a tide of cyber vigilance here in the UK. The intertwining of the digital sphere with our professional realms beckons a fortified stance on cybersecurity. Here’s a deeper dive into actionable steps you can take to increase your business’ cyber safety.

1. How do you know if your website is healthy?

A regular check-up for your website is akin to ensuring the structural integrity of your physical office. It’s about spotting the cracks before they widen:

Checking your website

Utilise tools like Sucuri SiteCheck or Google’s Webmaster Tools to scan for vulnerabilities. These tools can provide insights into areas that may need tightening up.

  • Sucuri SiteCheck is a user-friendly tool that comes in handy for a quick security check on your website. To begin, head over to the Sucuri SiteCheck website. Once there, you’ll find a simple dialogue box asking for your website URL. Type in your website address and hit the “Scan Website” button. In a jiffy, Sucuri will serve up a report detailing the health of your website. It scans for common website security issues like malware, outdated software, and checks your site’s standing on major blacklist engines too.
  • For a more thorough examination, engaging a cybersecurity firm for a comprehensive assessment could be a prudent move. They can provide expert insights and recommend specific actions to enhance your website’s security posture.

2. Does your website have an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is akin to a solid handshake—it establishes a bond of trust with your visitors, ensuring that their interactions with your website (such as purchases) are secure.

How to check

WhyNoPadlock is a great tool ideal for a quick check on your website’s SSL certificate status. To start, navigate to the WhyNoPadlock website. Once there, you’ll encounter a simple dialogue box asking for your website URL. Type in your website address and hit the “Check” button. In a flash, WhyNoPadlock will present a report detailing the SSL status of your website. It identifies any issues that might be preventing the padlock icon from displaying, giving you a clear insight into your website’s secure connection status.

What if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate?

  1. Pick a Provider: You can get an SSL certificate from places like Let’s Encrypt for free, or buy one from companies like GoDaddy.
  2. Get Your SSL Certificate: Follow the instructions on the provider’s website to get your SSL certificate.
  3. Ask for Help with Installation: If your web hosting service offers customer support, they might be able to install the SSL certificate for you. Just reach out and ask them for help.
  4. Check It’s Working: Once it’s set up, type your website’s address into a web browser again and look for a padlock symbol next to it. If you see the padlock, you’re good to go!

3. Have you got strong password policies?

A strong password policy coupled with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) acts as a crucial guardian, ensuring the sanctity of sensitive data. It’s akin to having a vigilant gatekeeper fortified with an additional layer of security, ensuring only the rightful individuals gain access to your company’s digital assets.

What makes a good password?

Creating a robust password policy involves encouraging the use of passwords that are at least 12 characters long, mixed with uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols, akin to a complex yet unique recipe. Advocating unpredictability and routine changes in passwords adds an extra layer of security.

Tools like LastPass or 1Password can be invaluable allies, offering a secure vault for storing and generating complex passwords. They simplify the task for employees, making adherence to strong password policies a breeze rather than a chore.

What about your employees?

Educating employees is equally vital; consider organising workshops or sharing informative resources about the importance of strong passwords. Making this education a part of the onboarding process ensures every team member is well-equipped to maintain strong digital hygiene from day one.

Are password altogether outdated?

In 2023, the concept of ditching passwords altogether is gaining traction. Tools like Google’s Passkey are at the forefront of this paradigm shift, offering a more seamless and secure authentication experience. Passkey is part of a larger movement towards passwordless authentication, which leverages biometrics, security keys, or mobile devices to verify identity. As we sail into a new era of digital security, passwordless solutions like Passkey are paving the way for a more secure and user-centric approach to authentication.

4. How do you identify a phishing email?

Phishing attempts are an unwelcome reality. These deceptive emails pose as legitimate communications, aiming to snatch sensitive information such as login credentials or financial details. Identifying phishing emails is more than just a good practice; it’s a robust shield guarding your company’s sensitive data against nefarious cyber-actors.

How to spot a phising email

  1. Suspicious Email Addresses: Often, the sender’s email might appear unusual or originate from a free email service. Being skeptical towards unfamiliar email addresses is a good initial step.
  2. Misleading Links: Hovering over links in the email without clicking can unveil their true destination. Phishing emails often disguise malicious links as legitimate ones, leading you to hazardous sites.
  3. Spelling and Grammar: Reputable companies maintain a professional tone in their communications. Poor spelling and grammar can be indicative of a phishing attempt.
  4. Urgent Action Required: Phishers frequently create a sense of urgency. Emails pressuring immediate action should trigger caution.

Tools for Your Anti-Phishing Kit

  1. Email Filters: Utilising robust email filters can help weed out phishing attempts before they land in your inbox.
  2. Verification Services: Services like Google’s Advanced Protection Program offer enhanced protection against phishing.

Educating Your Team

Awareness is a potent ally. Conduct workshops or share resources to educate employees on the hallmarks of phishing emails. Fostering a culture of caution and awareness can morph your workforce into a formidable barrier against phishing attempts.

Reporting and Analysis

Encourage the reporting of suspected phishing emails and analyse them to bolster your defenses. Learning from past attempts can significantly enhance your security posture.

Moving Forward

In the fight against phishing, knowledge, preparation, and a culture of vigilance are your stalwarts. By educating your team and employing the right tools, you can evade the phishing trap.

5. How to send and recieve client data securely?

Secure client data transmission is like making sure your letters reach the right person safely. Imagine sending a letter with a lock, where only you and the person receiving it have the key. That’s what we aim for in the digital world too!

What should you be doing?

  1. Use Safe Channels: Platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox and microsofts’ One Drive are user-friendly options that allow for secure file sharing and storage. They provide strong encryption to keep your data safe.
  2. Check IDs: It’s essential to use secure websites when sharing or receiving data. Look for “https” in the website URL, which indicates that the data transferred between your browser and the site is encrypted
  3. Learn and Share: Teach your team and clients about safe data sharing, like you’d explain the importance of not sharing a house key with strangers. Share simple resources or infographics about safe data sharing with your team and clients. Knowledge is power, and understanding the basics can go a long way in keeping data secure.
  4. Regular Check-ups: Tools like Azure Key Vault and Password Manager Pro can help keep your data secure by storing sensitive information like certificates safely and ensuring secure data transmission.

 

As we conclude our exploration of cybersecurity safety, we sincerely hope that the insights and resources shared have illuminated the path towards a safer online experience.

In this vast digital landscape, empowering yourself with knowledge and leveraging the right set of digital tools can significantly reduce its daunting nature. Rest assured, this journey has equipped you with the necessary know-how to effectively safeguard your business and clients in the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity, especially during Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Let us now forge ahead, making the digital space a more secure haven for your enterprise and esteemed clientele.

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