Online Security and Your Company: 4 Areas of Risk to Consider
The last decade has seen a huge shift to online business even if it is only for one portion of a company. There are business owners that made a promise never to have a website as they would do things old school. Even the most steadfast of anti-technology business owners have given in as the world’s business landscape has changed. A lack of a website or even email can lead to lost customers on a daily basis. The shift to handling business online has been done in all areas including communication and even accounting. The old days of having to keep detailed accounting records have been replaced by inputting this into a platform that assists with this process. The vital information that accounting and communication platforms house needs to be protected at all costs. Below are tips to help maintain quality online security at your company regardless of its size.
Employees can be a huge vulnerable area for a business trying to protect their data. Current employees likely will not be the threat although their actions could leave vital information at risk. The importance of not downloading applications outside of trusted sources is a perfect policy to institute. Far too many applications were designed to steal information from its users. Former employees are going to be the largest risk though as they might want revenge as they feel like they have been unjustly terminated. Changing passwords is important for any shared accounts. People that are terminated will often try to collect as much information that they believe can help them when fired.
Freelancers are likely going to have access to certain company systems or receive logins to use certain company tools. The turnover that many companies see with freelancers needs to be kept in mind. Creating freelancer accounts that can be used is important as you do not want a freelancer having access to an admin account. Freelancers will likely not profit off of trying to wreak havoc on a company so stealing of information will likely not happen. Restrict the number of accounts or documents the freelancer has access to just to be safe. There is a chance the freelancer could become a valued part of the team on a full-time basis.
Phishing Emails and Direct Cyberattacks
Phishing emails can be used to get credit card information or even account passwords. The importance of being able to identify a phishing email cannot be undervalued as these emails are becoming more and more advanced. Phishing emails are more of a threat than a direct attack as it is cheap to send out thousands of emails in a day. Direct cyberattacks can be an issue if a company is believed to have important information. If these attacks are prevalent then a cybersecurity firm should be hired. The best cybersecurity software combined with a team to identify breaches might be required. For most businesses direct attacks regularly are less of an occurrence than viruses stealing information or phishing emails answered.
Clients with Access to Certain Systems
The tough truth is that your client likely has some kind of access to your system or cloud. Many clients desire this so they can see the progress on a specific project that is underway. A hack of a client can lead to confusion and even the deletion of a certain milestone in a project management system. The information that is stored in project management systems is often tied into the accounting platform being used. The last thing that you want is the payment details of your clients or employees being stolen. Identity theft is not a joking matter and can years to fully recover from. Restricted access to a system usually prevents the client’s access from compromising security but not in all cases. Do not underestimate the will of a seasoned hacker or even a disgruntled former employee of your client. If a client’s account is constantly being hacked it is important to let them know. Some clients will not change what they are doing though as they are stuck in their ways.
Take the time to do a proper online security risk assessment when it comes to 3rd party apps. Allowing a cloud access security broker solution to assist with this can save time and money. The apps that you or employees use could be vulnerable although they are following best practices in other aspects of their work. Do not allow a data breach of some kind to destroy your business as it could take years to recover if it ever does.