Cyber security is an imperative in today’s online environment, whether it’s protecting your personal and company data, online resources, or website. Unfortunately, with the world in Lockdown there has been a massive adjustment as businesses and their employees work from home where possible, and hacking has increased by 300% in South Africa.
Ensuring that you have reputable cyber security solutions and protocols in place is essential for your employees and business health. In SA, a recent survey taken by Citrix, showed that >74% of companies are concentrating on improving their data protection and giving their online security top priority this year.
As a business owner, it is imperative that you
educate your employees about the risks and damages that cyber-crime can have on the company, and
that there are secure online safety protocols in place that must be strictly
● Confidential Information: Social engineering is a very easy platform for criminals to ‘steal identities. Therefore, an employee that uses any social media platform must be prevented from divulging any company-related information, with severe consequences.
● Email Links & Attachments: Any email received from an unknown person; unless requested by the recipient e.g. subscription, must be treated cautiously. No links should be clicked on, or attachments opened unless the source has been verified as reputable.
● Password Strength: All business passwords should be completely different from an employee’s personal ones and they should by the strongest possible. Include capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, with a minimum of 8-characters.
● Two-factor Authentication: MFAs (Multi-factor Authentications) are essential to truly ensuring login protection on online systems. Google Authenticator is reputable and a free service.
● Biometric Identification: Vocal & facial recognition software (fingerprint systems are also available) is used by a number of larger companies and can be either based in the cloud, or on their local infrastructure.
Antivirus Solutions: All company pcs and mobile devices must have a reputable antivirus
solution that is maintained. The onus will either be with the IT department, or
the employees themselves to ensure that the updates are installed
automatically. This must include any and all removable
devices e.g. flash drives.
Domain Name Security
A company’s domain name has to be protected and the most important aspect is to validate the information on the actual Whois domain registration, it is imperative that the details belong to the company and not a consultant, ISP or the employee that registered it.
As the world’s most foremost Content Management System (CMS), WordPress is a popular website platform. WordPress websites are extremely prevalent – one in three – and they offer over 50 000 plugins. These plugins are developed by independents and therefore are not checked by WordPress. Installation of any WordPress plugins to improve a website’s functionality, must be initially checked that they are: still valid, have been updated within a two-year period and are from reputable developers. Regular plugin management must be done to ensure that the most current version of the plugin is installed and obsolete plugins are deleted.
Website & Email Hosting ProtectionA company’s hosting provider must have security options include, or available in their hosting packages, whether email only hosting, or website & email hosting. A reputable ISP (Internet Service Provider), should be registered with the local authority, in South Africa it is the ISPA – Internet Service Providers’ Association. The hosting packages should offer a level of security including Spam & malware scanning, free SSL Certificate and free backups. Hosting packages should be easily upgradeable as the business grows and requires additional hosting resources. Should a business be involved in any form of online retail, it is essential to provide substantial security for the transmission of encrypted personal data over the net, This is available from various SSL Certificates that offer a more secure option for your website hosting.