According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), 50% of SMBs are likely to suffer a security breach that could be detrimental to their business. In light of this worrying statistic, organisations should remain vigilant in protecting company data. But where to start? Without an in-house security expert, it can be difficult to know what makes you vulnerable and what steps you need to take, that’s why we’ve created this Beginner’s Guide to Web Security, to help guide you to web safety. Step one is to carry out a risk assessment. What data does your business hold? What could be a target for hackers? How could they infiltrate your network? Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to form a strategy to protect your most valuable assets.
How to mitigate the threats of online activity
The first line of defence against online threats is a firewall. Firewalls provide a barrier between a business and cybercriminals by filtering web traffic to prevent malicious content from gaining access to an internal network. While firewalls alone used to be enough to protect a business, as threats have become increasingly sophisticated, businesses should take a layered approach, possibly implementing both external and internal firewalls alongside antivirus and DDoS protection.
Virtual Private Networks
In the age of the agile workforce, many employees work remotely, connecting to the internet via home broadband or public WiFi in coffee shops and co-working spaces. Public hotspots are an easy way for hackers to harvest business data by intercepting the network between the device and the connection point. Hackers can also use public WiFi to distribute malware or connect directly to a user’s device and monitor their activity anonymously.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers a valuable layer of security for remote workers. When connecting to a home or public network, users can log into the VPN for a secure connection to the business network, preventing hackers from finding their device.
Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, is a form of attack where cybercriminals distribute malware across several internet-connected devices, allowing them to take control of them to form a ‘botnet’. The attacker then floods the targeted server or network with internet traffic from these compromised devices, crashing it and preventing regular users from accessing the network.
DDoS attacks can result in loss of business, and therefore loss of revenue, and they can also cause damage to brand reputation. To protect themselves against these attacks, businesses can implement DDoS protection, a Cloud-based service that redirects traffic through a filter to determine the legitimacy of the request. If traffic is identified as malicious, it is discarded before reaching its target.
By clicking on suspicious links or downloading documents or software from the web, users can inadvertently install viruses, malware or ransomware onto their devices. These can be detrimental to a business by modifying files and settings, crashing your computer or even accessing your files and holding them ransom. Designed to detect malicious code and disarm or remove it from the device, antivirus software is vital for any business.
It is important to educate all staff members to ensure everyone understands the risks associated with online activity. Every business should have a cyber security policy that is clearly communicated to employees, outlining key processes and procedures and the potential consequences of a breach.
There are many ways a hacker can infiltrate your network through internet activity, so it is worth employing a comprehensive web security solution that provides the necessary layers of protection against online threats. Guardian Web Protect from Digital Wholesale Solutions delivers complete visibility across all devices, locations and users to provide real-time protection.
Want to find out more about web security and how you can help your customers protect their business? Speak to our teams today!
Other Articles in This Series:
- Beginner’s Guide to 5G
- Beginner’s Guide to Broadband
- Beginner’s Guide to Ethernet
- Beginner’s Guide to Hosted VoIP
- Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Device Management
- Beginner’s Guide to Email Security
- Beginner’s Guide to SIP Trunking
- Beginner’s Guide to SD WAN
- Beginner’s Guide to Network Mobile