The internet has revolutionized the way we do business, allowing everything from online banking to employees working remotely. However, the internet has also brought new risks and threats. All businesses have sensitive information of some sort, such as customers' banking details and employees' personal information. Internet connection can endanger this confidential information.
For this reason, it’s essential that every business has an internet security plan. This plan will ensure that the business’s system and sensitive information are protected from data breaches and other cyberattacks. If your business doesn’t have one yet, it’s time to create one.
The following guidelines will help you create a formal internet security plan for your company:
Create a Strong Internet-Use Policy
The way your business uses the internet has major implications for your online security. Your employees may be using your business’s internet connection for non-business activities, such as accessing their personal email accounts or visiting social media websites. These activities can increase your company’s exposure to security threats, so creating a strong internet usage policy is crucial.
To start, you’ll need to decide what types of employee internet usage is appropriate and acceptable for your business. This includes:
- Curating a list of websites, or website types, that are/are not okay to access via a company network
- Deciding which kinds of devices are okay to use on a company network
- Considering password rules
- Setting standard protocols for downloading software/anti-virus updates
- Determining penalties for any breaches in the policy
Then, create a formal internet use policy document and have each member of staff read and sign it. This document will mean nothing if you don’t enforce it, so don’t be tempted to ignore infringements.
Consider a Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a must-have security measure for any business that has an internet connection or has employees work outside the office. A VPN is network technology that encrypts all the data your device sends and receives over a network. This forms a secure channel for your data—even on otherwise risky public networks.
Whenever data is sent via an unsafe connection, it’s at risk of being accessed and stolen by hackers. If you use a VPN, your business’s sensitive information is protected from anyone trying to access it without authorization. This review from Secure Thoughts will help you select the best VPN for your business’s needs.
Set up a Firewall
A firewall is another critical online security measure for any business that uses the internet. A firewall is a software (sometimes used in coordination with hardware) that monitors all the data that enters your business’s system via the internet. It screens the data for malware and hackers trying to enter your business’s computer system. So choose a suitable firewall product and install it on your computer system to help avoid cyberattacks.
Use Digital Signatures
Digital signatures, like Independent E-Signatures™ from SIGNiX, are an essential part of any business’s strategy for safe online transactions and document management. A digital signature is a type of standards-based electronic signature that guarantees the authenticity of an electronic document, such as a PDF. It uses encryption techniques to embed legal proof that a signed document is authentic.
A reputable digital signature product will offer several identity authentication techniques before allowing anyone to sign or access a document. It will also allow your employees to electronically sign documentation instantaneously from any device. The longevity of e-signatures is another important consideration, so be sure to choose a product that allows your e-signatures to exist independently of the vendor. These features improve both the efficiency and electronic security of your business, so using a reputable digital signature product is critical.
Install Anti-Virus Software
Anti-virus software is an essential part of any business’s internet security plan. This type of software is used to block, identify and eliminate any malicious software (malware) on any devices that connect to the internet. Malware is software that aims to infiltrate and damage your computer system, as well as potentially steal sensitive information.
Certain anti-virus products have additional features, such as protection from online banking attacks, phishing and spam. It’s worth getting a product with a comprehensive list of features to ensure that your system is properly protected from malware and other cyberattacks. Once you’ve purchased anti-virus software, install it on all company devices and be sure to scan them regularly. Also, remember to update software regularly to make sure it’s always capable of blocking viruses.
Implementing the above measures is a critical part of a proper internet security plan, so make sure that they’re in place as soon as possible.
Does your business already have a formal internet security plan? Are there any important security measures that we’ve missed? Please tell us in the comments section below.
Faith MacAnas is a technology writer for SecureThoughts. She focuses her content on online security, aiming to help businesses protect their systems and sensitive data from anyone looking to do harm.
To learn more about how digital signatures could work for your organization, schedule a free demo.