Whether you are a start-up or an established company, cybersecurity threats can pose a huge risk. Tech-savvy developers are more likely to be better prepared than most for the various types of cybersecurity threats, but this doesn’t mean a business is secure. A developer, whether a freelancer, or a business owner is as vulnerable as his or her weakest link. Employees, consultants and clients can all present a risk to the security of a business. Here we will look at the most common types of cybersecurity threats to a business and how best to avoid them.
Phishing scams are one of the most common and biggest threats to a business. This type of scam often comes in the form of an email presenting itself to be something other than it is – such as a message from a client or password update prompt from your bank. The recipient of the email will be encouraged to click a link and enter sensitive information which will then be used to gain access to previously secure data. Other forms of phishing scams are apps or websites posing as legitimate companies asking for your information. Always check the legitimacy of an email before clicking the link, check the from address and if you’re unsure see if you can check with the company it is purportedly from.
Not Having a BYOD Policy
If you have employees and do not have a ‘bring your own device’ policy, you are leaving your company wide-open to scammers. Many employees will bring laptops, tablets and mobiles into your company and will use them to access your network and data. If access restrictions are not put into place for personal devices, security breaches are much more likely. Whether deliberately or accidentally, data can easily be compromised if unknown devices can access the servers. A bring your own device policy will help keep things more secure and let your employees know what they should and should not do when accessing the network.
On top of bringing in a BYOD policy, proper training is a good way to ensure that your business is more secure against potential threats. As a developer you might have a better idea of what to look out for, but your employees may not be as clued up. Employees can be incredibly vulnerable to phishing scams and data breaches; for this reason, proper cybersecurity training could potentially save your company thousands in the long run. Teaching your staff members what cyber-attacks may look like, how to avoid them and how to best report them will help improve security.
Not Keeping Your Systems Up-To-Date
Using software and systems that aren’t regularly updated can leave them more vulnerable to attack. The cheapest and easiest way to secure your data and keep your systems up-to-date is to use cloud computing. Cloud computing providers will often encrypt all your data – using an algorithm to turn it into code, meaning only those with the key can make sense of it. Cloud providers will also regularly update software and security procedures, ensuring they are as secure as they can be.
Although cloud computing was often seen as a risky method of data storage, now, thanks to heavy investment by large companies, it can be one the best and easiest ways to ensure your data is properly secured. The owner of cloud-investment company C5, Andre Pienaar, explained in a recent interview that, “when we started investing in cloud-based companies at C5 many people saw the cloud as a blocker for cybersecurity. Now we say that the cloud is part of the solution.”