Simple and effective ways to secure your business from cyber crime

Content provided by a guest contributor.

All business is online or going online and this is a whole new world for many "old-school" business owners. Especially those who haven’t employed an IT support team. The added concern for most is security. The media is rife with news on hacking, cyber theft and the like. And, cyber security can be most confusing for those who aren’t au fait with IT issues.

Protecting your online business doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds though. You certainly need an SSL certificate and should preferably work together with a hosting company who can manage your security for you and offer support when needed. But there are things you can do for the protection of your business too. Here are some quick and simple steps to ensuring your business and your customers are protected from cyber criminals.

Install a firewall

A robust firewall is the very first step to protecting your online payment terminal. A hacker will insert malware into your payment terminal and in this way steal sensitive data such as credit card details. They can do this from anywhere in the world and it’s firewall protection that will detect the malware and protect your computer from being infiltrated. If it detects enormous amounts of data being either inserted into or extracted from your network, it will immediately stop the process.

Keep your business network and payment portal completely separate

When you separate these two networks you don’t run the risk of an ignorant employee opening a risky email or leaving your system unattended and open to an attack. Often times, cyber criminals access business data by hacking into a staff members account and obtaining access via their username. If all of your employees have access to your payment portal then so will a hacker.

Keep your passwords protected and change them often

It is common knowledge that you should keep your passwords protected by including capital letters, numbers, symbols and punctuation. You should also change your password often as leaving them unchanged for ages makes you vulnerable to hackers. However, also consider changing your username once in a while. Without the correct username and password no one can access your information – at least not directly – and this is one of the easiest ways to remain protected.

Install software that tests your security

There’s software available that tests your systems and online identity for vulnerabilities. This will give you a good gauge as to how easily you might be hacked or how vulnerable your payment processor is. This software will provide you with a report on the scan it’s conducted and give you instructions on how to manage any of the flagged weak points.


The content in this article was provided by HostAfrica – a web hosting company based in Cape Town, and providing high performance servers and hosting solutions at highly competitive and truly affordable rates. 

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