The holiday shopping season is upon us and that means we have visions of cybersecurity for your Cyber Monday dancing in our heads. Below, you’ll find a few tips and best practices for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to guarantee a happy holiday season with strong cybersecurity:
1. Learn to Recognize Decoy Attacks
The number of decoy, or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), attacks directly increases as holiday traffic to your website rises. A DDoS attack occurs when hackers lock you out of your network and demand that you pay a hefty ransom to restore your permissions. Don’t be fooled by their efforts.
Hackers love this time of year and may prey upon your organization with hopes that you don’t have the staffing or resources to protect yourself. While the best offence is a good defence if you find that you are in this vulnerable position, contact your managed service provider immediately.
2. There Is Power in Using Whitelists and Blacklists
The majority of people have heard of blacklisting and whitelisting but are not fully aware of using their features. IP whitelists are a compilation of trusted IP addresses and domains that allow access to your network. IP blacklisting does the opposite by preventing them from entering your system from specified access points.
It is critical that you manage this functionality in your IT environment for a massive boost in your security and data privacy. Whitelists generally include internal IP addresses while all, non-essential company networks blacklist external protocol requests. Ask your MSP to ensure your system is up to date or reach out to hear about F12’s solutions and how we take care of the IT so you don’t have to.
3. Upgrade to a Next-Gen Antivirus (NGAV) Solution
NGAV is essential for preventing and detecting malicious activity on your point-of-sale (POS) system. It is different from a traditional antivirus solution in that it does not require periodic updates to your antivirus list of known security threats.
NGAV is also a ‘smart’ solution since it not only maintains a comprehensive antivirus list on its own, but it can also detect and stop malware and other hacking efforts dead in their tracks.
4. Pay Attention to Passwords
Yes, we agree that using a singular, default password can make your life easier. After all, it is difficult enough to recall the one, let alone several others that are unique to each platform. We hate to break it to you but using a single password can be the kiss of death that wipes away any form of cybersecurity measures you have already put into place.
Not using a unique password for every point-of-access is like giving everyone in an apartment building the same lock and key combination. Simply put, your data is not safe when there is a universal key that can unlock every door in your network.
5. Double Up on Your Most Sensitive Data Banks
Start by identifying where most of your sensitive customer data is stored, and then focus on creating added security measures to this area. You can accomplish this task by incorporating detection and response technology. Doing so allows you to be alerted when irregular activity is detected on your network.
Another method of protection also lies within data siloing, which is a strategy that limits access to your system on a ‘need to know’ basis. While siloing information is not recommended for internal transparency reasons, reducing access to systems during the holiday season can further mitigate your exposure to a cybersecurity breach.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
As a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) the reality is that you can only spread your attention so much. Instead of DIYing your IT system, considering working with a trusted team of IT professionals, like F12. We efficiently and effectively reduce your exposure to security threats through careful planning and emergency response contingency plans.