7 Cybersecurity Habits Franchise Owners Can Adopt Now
As a business or franchise owner, you may already know that a lot of data regarding your entity’s operations is actively and continuously moving online. Communications between different departments, bills, schedules, and so on are usually transmitted via the Internet.
Because of this, many businesses are prone to cyberattacks. This is very dangerous since information/data can be translated into money, so to say. As such, cybercriminals often steal and intercept company information for monetary gains.
Moreover, keep in mind that critical data is not only that concerning operations and such. Something as trivial as your personal e-mail being hacked could lead to, in the worst case, complete business closure. Let’s take a look at some cybersecurity habits that every franchise owner can and should adopt to keep their business safe and sound!
Enforcing Password Policies
Recently, passwords have become troublesome. Business social media accounts and e-mail addresses have been leaked on the Internet after their passwords have been cracked. Even musicians had to deal with consequences in their careers because of a simple password.
Such issues within a franchise/business can be avoided in the first place if the owner enforces password policies. This entails instructing the employees on creating sound passwords: use of capital letters, numbers, special characters, and optimal length. Password managers may also be used.
Always Using an Encrypted Network
Still, an adequate password and an antivirus may not always be sufficient to protect our data. The network the employees work on is yet extremely vulnerable. Standard networks don’t usually come with any encryption. As a result, any activity and information on that specific network can be easily accessed by hackers.
The best way to entirely protect a business network is to use a VPN. Such software encrypts everything that happens within a network while hiding IP addresses.
Enhanced Firewall Protection
Standard operating systems come with a built-in firewall. The latter protects your computer or network from being accessed by other people who want to take a peek, as a matter of speaking. However, built-in firewall systems are not ideal for businesses with heavy traffic/use.
If a cybercriminal wants to get their hands on your data/information, a simple firewall will not stop them. As such, it is recommended that business owners invest in better or next-gen firewalls to protect their business better.
Adopt Multi-Factor Authentication
Most of the time, people who get their e-mail or social media accounts hacked don’t without even realizing it. This is because they don’t opt for notifications when an unknown device logs into their account or for multi-factor authentication.
As a result, someone may be using their account simultaneously with a hacker and not realize it. The same can happen within a business. A cybercriminal may have access to information he attained via an employee account, without anyone knowing it.
Multi-factor authentication entirely prevents this from happening. When someone attempts to log in to a specific account, they will not be able to access it unless they provide an e-mail or SMS code.
Regular Updates of Firmware and Software Infrastructure
Antivirus software cannot protect you from all types of viruses if you don’t update it regularly. Why is this? It’s because those weekly/monthly updates come with additional virus definitions that keep the software up to date with the global virus database.
The same applies to company software and firmware. A piece of non-updated software can quickly turn into a security breach that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals. New software/firmware versions, even if they don’t come with visually distinct changes, almost always update security… Hence, business owners should never postpone these kinds of updates.
Web Filter Implementation
Phishing and malware are not sent only via e-mail. Some websites also host malware and engage in phishing attempts. While working, an employee may unknowingly click on a link redirecting him to one of these websites. In this case, a sound e-mail password isn’t that beneficial.
However, business owners can implement something known as a web filter, which blocks access to the websites known to host malware or present phishing risks. On top of that, a DNS web filter can, at the same time, protect remote workers.
Adopt Network Segmentation
All of the data and information related to your company may be currently saved on a cloud. In other words, all of it can be found in one place and can be accessed by all employees or the majority.
If a cybercriminal were to connect to the cloud with an employee account, they’d have access to all of your data/information. This is where network segmentation and admin privileges/credentials come into play. Splitting your network into segments and granting access to individual sections only to people that need it will enhance the protection of information within your business.
The Bottom Line
Nowadays, cybersecurity is extremely important for all types of franchises and businesses. This is because most of them have invested in more efficient practices and operations, forcing them to work more online.
Given this, it goes without justifying why the privacy measures and cybersecurity of a company must be top-notch. A single exploitable point in their network will, without any shred of a doubt, attract cybercriminals!