When people hear bad things about a business, they tend to stay away from that business. When they hear good things, they tend to use the business. The reputation a business has can change in a heartbeat. One bad event will turn a respected company into one that people no longer trust. Building and protecting a reputation for a business has always been important. In today’s world, information can spread around the world in a very short time thanks to technology.
Businesses face new attacks on their reputation thanks to cyber threats. The businesses that do not have the systems and plans in place to manage these threats are putting their reputation at risk. It is better to prevent these threats from happening and these are some ways to do that.
Two Fronts to Fight
When it comes to cyber threats and protecting the business reputation, there are two places a business should focus on. One area of focus is the people in the business or in the workplace. The second area is the technology the business uses. It is important to address both areas. A mistake in either one could allow someone to follow through on a threat and destroy the reputation of a business in a second.
Training – One of the most common ways a hacker gets into a business’s computer systems is through human error. They use phishing attempts and other scams that an employee falls for. The best way to prevent mistakes from employees is through training. They should get training on the threats a business faces regularly. The way that the hackers work keeps changing and employees need to know how they can protect the business from making a mistake that destroys its reputation. Employees also need training on how to interact with customers and what they can and can’t say when talking to others.
Password Security – Many businesses make their employees use passwords, but do not teach them what a good password is. Passwords should include letters and characters. They should have a minimum length. Employees should change their password regularly. They should also never write down their passwords.
The reputation of a business comes from its employees. It is up to the business to make sure their employees are taking steps to protect the business.
Turning to Technology
The best tool that a business for threat prevention is technology. Hackers use technology to threaten the business so it makes sense to use technology as a defense. These are some of the ways that technology will help keep a business safe.
Tracking Social Media – Thanks to social media, it does not take long for a message about a business to spread. Businesses don’t mind positive messages, but negative messages are a threat to the business. There is software that can help a business monitor activity on social media that reflects on the business. The technology can point out if there are emerging threats against the business and can help a business respond before the reputation of the business is hurt.
Limit the Access – A smart business will limit the people who can access the information a business has stored on its computer system. Keeping it secure means limiting the people who have access to it and monitoring their activities.
Secure the Network – It is up to a business to make sure that their network is secure. One way they can do this is through an open source intrusion prevention system like Snort. This type of system helps keep a network secure from outside attacks from a variety of threats and is always searching for new threats. It is a proactive approach to keeping a business safe rather than a reactive one.
Learn About Virtual Private Networks – People outside of the I-tech world may have heard of virtual private networks, but that does not mean they know how they work. The VPNs are a great way for a business to protect itself from the dangers of hackers. VPNs allow business to encrypt the information they share on the internet. Instead of putting it on a large public network, it is safer to put things on a small private network. A VPN is easy to set up and run for any business.
Utilize Cloud Technology – Business need to store a lot of information. They can do it on their own computers or they can turn to the cloud. The cloud is a place on the internet that business can store and retrieve information from. It is often more secure than storing information on the computer systems of the business. Any time a business uses the cloud they also should make sure they are emphasizing other points of business security, including strong passwords, limiting access and the use of VPNs.
Update, Update, Update – One of the most common tricks that hackers use is entering a computer system that uses outdated software. Hackers look for holes in software that they can exploit. When they find a hole, the software maker will send out an update to provide a patch that closes the whole. If a business does not install the update, the hackers will take advantage of the hole that is left. It is not only important to make sure that all software is up to date, but to also make sure that any update recommended comes from a legitimate source.
One of the most important aspects of a successful business is trust. The people who do business with a company, the employees of the company and others want to trust that any information they provide is kept secure. They do not want a company to put them at risk because the company does not take steps to secure their computer systems. When a business suffers an attack, it will hurt them financially. It will cost the company money to fix, specially if you have applied for loan. With that in mind, understand your financial situation. Decide what you can use as security or collateral for your small business loans.
More importantly, it will hurt the reputation of the business and cause people to lost trust in the business name. The cost of that may cause a business to fail before they have a chance to fix it. With the right security steps in place, they can stop the threats from harming their reputation before it happens.