It can take up to twenty years for a business to become well established. But, it could take five minutes for a spammer to destroy a business and damage their reputation.
As a business owner, you have a lot of important items on your “to-do” list. You need to buy a domain, build a website, create a good customer experience, open a storefront, hire more employees, etc. The last thing you want to worry about constantly is if your eCommerce website is being threatened.
Today, we are going to help put those stressors at ease. we are going to discuss the importance of cyber security, how to keep your website and intellectual property safe.
Importance of Cyber Security
We hear about cyber security all the time, but what is it really?
Cyber security is the practice of protecting systems, networks or programs from a digital attack. These cyber attacks are generally for stealing information, damaging hardware or electronic data, extorting money or interfering with a business operation. However, they also include phishing, DoS, DDos, malware, MITM, ransomware, URL interpretation and more.
Cyber attacks are a very real threat to small businesses with an online presence. A breach in a business’ security could risk:
- Disruption in operations
- Damage to reputation
- Lost revenue
- Stolen intellectual property
- Customer data stolen
- Altered business practices
- Money lost to regaining control of business (According to Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, the financial impact on those affected by a cyber event rose nearly six-fold to a median of $57,000.)
How to Keep Your Website Safe
Spending the time and money to develop a cybersecurity plan may seem tedious. However, it could potentially save you thousands or millions down the road and ensure you are protected when the threat comes.
Let’s keep your website safe:
1. Implement Defensive Registration
Defensive Registration is when you register domain names across many different TLDs, formats and grammar for the purpose of protecting your intellectual property.
Why might you consider defensive registration? Imagine a cybercriminal decides to target your business. They can buy a domain name that looks a lot like yours. By changing letters or characters, like swapping a “o” for a “0”, cybercriminals can pose like your business.
apples.com for appIes.com. Spot the difference? The “L” is replaced with a capital “I”.
If you are a startup or small business and have the budget to purchase a domain name plus other TLD’s, it could be a good idea to keep people or other companies from buying similar domain names.
2. Change CMS Default Settings
The most common cyber attacks are automated. Many cyber attack bots scan and target users with CMS settings on default.
To prevent this, change your CMS settings from the default immediately. This includes changing user visibility and permissions. Furthermore, be aware of the default settings for the three user types: Owner, Group and Public.
3. Keep Software Up to Date
Software updates are important to ensure the health of your site. They often contain security enhancements and vulnerability repairs to help further protect you from hackers.When your software and applications are not up to date, your site may not be as secure.
Ensure you and all of your employees are updating software when prompted.
4. Backup Your Website
One of the best ways to protect yourself as a small business owner is to backup your website.
Regularly backup essential business data, such as documents, spreadsheets, financial information, databases, employee files, etc. However, do not store your backups on the same server as your website.
5. Implement a FireWall
A firewall is a network security device that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic. Put simply, it sits between your website server and data connection and reads every bit of data that passes through.
This is a further step in protecting your site because it allows non threatening traffic into your site and keeps threatening traffic out. Additionally, the real time protection will identify threats, alert you and remove them.
6. Use a Secure Network
Even when you think all is secure, you should be analyzing your network security.
Make sure you change the default WiFi password that comes with it – one of the most secure is a Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) code. When working on the WiFi network you could also utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to protect business data.
Additionally, consider scanning devices connected to your network for Malware.
7. Have Secure Passwords
Many people use the same login information across all accounts to make remembering them easier. Any internet user understands the struggle. However, this is a huge security mistake.
Create unique passwords for every log in. Ensure each one is long (at least 12 characters), complicated and random so they are impossible to guess. No birthdays or kids names! Additionally, you should update every one of your passwords with new random ones every couple of months.
For extra security, encourage your employees to use secure passwords as well.
8. Purchase AdultBlock
Cybercriminals or spammers could hurt your business reputation by using your domain name with adult themed TLD’s.
AdultBlock enables qualifying organizations to block the registration of any domain that falls under their trademark. AdultBlock stops every variation of your trademark from being registered in the domain extensions including, .xxx, .porn, .sex and .adult. Additionally, it covers you for ten years.
At Saw.com, we love domains and everything they encompass. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, we have made it our mission to help companies and organizations understand digital assets’ role in the ever-changing internet landscape, every step of the way. We specialize in domain acquisition, appraisal, company naming, branding, brand protection, portfolio management services and more.
No matter the nature, stage, or size of your company, we believe in helping you be seen online and we pride ourselves in our transparency through the entire process. If you are interested in speaking with an expert from our domain brokerage service about buying a domain, contact us! Our domain brokers would love to speak with you.