Making the most of your online business, without threats

If you run a business, even if it’s just a chip shop or a barbers, you generally have to be online at some point. There’s various reasons for doing this – you can advertise for free on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. However, even the most “non-techy” shop might also want to have a connection to the web for other reasons. You can install CCTV that you can monitor and control remotely on a laptop or smartphone. This will help protect your business and, if you put a camera above the checkout, you can ensure that staff aren’t stealing any of your earnings too.

For a lot of other stores, being online brings a host of additional benefits. You can sell the items in your window 24 hours a day, you can open your shop to a huge global audience and you can earn a lot more money in the process. It’s also become a lot easier now, as there’s easy-to-use platforms for getting your business online and adding items to sell. However, operating online does open you up to some threats, so you need to ensure that you’re also securing your business down against threats that can come from outside and inside your company..

Employee Threats

As mentioned earlier, even small corner shops can have cameras above the checkout to ensure that employees are being honest. However, online you can also find that employees can pose a threat there too. Indeed, employee issues are listed within the top IT Security threats 2018. So, what do you need to watch out for? Here are just a few potential problems:

  • Lack of Security Awareness
  • Data Breaches
  • Falling for Email Scams
  • Sharing Login Details
  • Installing Web Programs
  • Weak Passwords

You can tackle these issues by training all staff members in cyber security, setting up a password system that only accepts strong passwords, and installing software that requires your authorisation to download programs and applications. If you find that a staff member has maliciously attempted to breach your security, you should seek legal advice on how to move forward.

With smartphones giving us rapid and constant access into work emails and systems, it could happen at any time, so even out of the office hours your business can fall victim to a phishing attack or something similar.

Business Email Compromise

Hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to scam money or information out of businesses. With a smartphone it’s less easy for employees to check header information and, with people glancing at emails on a phone whilst doing something else, there’s less chance of checking. A new technique which is becoming increasingly prevalent is “business email compromise”.

This sees a hacker send an email that appears to come from an authority figure within a company. The email may request transfers of funds into specific accounts and there’s usually an urgency about it. Many employees fall for this, especially if the scammer has managed to find the right manager name from the likes of LinkedIn or similar. So, to reduce the chances of this happening, ensure that you’ve Implemented a protocol into your company so that cash transferred or sensitive information is only ever touched after a face-to-face conversation or secondary check. Again, you should also take the time to effectively train your staff on cyber security. Alert them to this potential issue and encourage double checks of all emails and the addresses that they are sent from.

These are just a couple of threats that your online business could potentially face. There are, of course, plenty more out there. But familiarising yourself with these two should get you off to a good start!