When your business is primarily run using computers, having a lock on the door and shutters to close at night won’t really do your data much good. In recent years, hacking has become something of a constant threat, often in the news, showing up where companies are most vulnerable.
To steal from your company, a hacker only needs to be able to get into your computers remotely. They can achieve their goals from the other side of the planet without a problem. Unless, of course, you are savvy enough to put in place all the protections you can.
End to End Encryption Email
If your are using email to communicate important or confidential information, you could be vulnerable to hackers searching for information they can use. They might not be interested in what the information actually is, but they can hold it ransom in the hope that you will simply pay them off. Email is also a good way of sending viruses to computers as opening and clicking an inconspicuous link is an easy way to trick someone into downloading something they shouldn’t.
There are also plenty of email phishing schemes that can trick your server into thinking that an email is from an acquaintance rather than the hacker. These emails often come from ‘acquaintances’ you haven’t heard from in a while and start by saying that they are in trouble and really need your help to the tune of a few thousand dollars. If you are getting this kind of email, it’s likely that your tech is outdated and isn’t capable of keeping up with the hackers.
A simple solution to this is to use end to end encryption email to send any confidential or sensitive emails. This works by using private and public keys to encrypt and decrypt information sent. So, you can send something to another email address knowing that only the person that email is intended for will be able to use their key to unlock the content. This way you know for sure who has sent you the email.
Change Passwords Regularly
Passwords are often where people fall down at security measures. If you choose a simple password that anyone could guess, then you open yourself up to people who just give it a go at getting in. Try to make sure that your password cannot be guessed from basic information that could be found elsewhere on the internet. For example, if your Facebook profile is full of pictures of you cat, don’t use his name as your password!
If your password is strong, you can make note of it in a notebook that you keep by your computer. This is unlikely to attract the attention of a burglar and analogue tech like paper and pen can’t be hacked remotely. The next thing to do is make sure that your hint questions can’t be easily answered or guessed. Once a hacker has failed to guess your password, don’t make things easy for them when they are faced with a hint. Just as you shouldn’t use your cat’s name for the password itself, don’t use it for the hint either.
Possibly the best thing you can do is choose a completely random answer to the hint. For example, if the question is what is your favourite vegetable, use the answer fire truck rather than the obvious carrot. While a hacker certainly won’t guess that fire truck could be the answer, you are more likely to remember it because it is such a weird response to give.
If you are ever in doubt, change your password. However, make sure that it is completely different to the previous password. Don’t just add a 1 on the end – anyone could guess that change!
Rediscover the Fax Machine
You might have thought that the fax machine was left behind in the 90s, but in fact, fax machines have never gone away. In an age of hacking and increased online privacy concerns, the humble fax machine is actually rising in popularity for one simple reason: hacking a traditional fax machine is lot more difficult than hacking an email.
More recently, eFaxing has come about, combining the safety of email encryption and faxing to create a perfect solution for sending sensitive or private information. This system is perfect for organisations who need to make sure that they are compliant with regulations such as HIPAA, GLBA, SOX and PCI amongst others. Secure fax is ideal because it means that you can ensure the highest levels of confidentiality while streamlining workflows so that your staff can work much more efficiently. This is to everyone’s benefit and will certainly boost your business profile and standards.
Unlike emails, which can be difficult to sort through and arrange into a logical order, eFaxing is an easy way to stay on top of what everyone is doing as well as track and store private information in secure cloud archives. It is also an easier way to annotate notes and send them on either by using an MFP or digitally annotating using a computer, tablet or even a smartphone.
If you haven’t given your business online security much thought recently, then you certainly need to now. Simply updating your passwords to make them stronger will be a huge help, but looking into how you and your colleagues communicate online will also give you better online security.
Businesses that specialize in areas where confidentiality is vital, such as the medical professions and legal firms, must always make sure that they have the best security in the business as it is so important to their clients. Using a service that is compliant with regulations isn’t just a bonus, it is a necessary way to show that you can be trusted and treat internet and information security very seriously.
Any business transferring sensitive or private data would be well advised to look at their digital security and search for any small ways a hacker could get in. It might seem petty now, but once you’ve been hacked once, you will understand how just one small hole in your security can rip your business apart.