Online security is becoming a serious issue in the business world, especially for startups. Many security measures that businesses put up to try and fend off cyber attacks often fail, leaving them open to variety of problems. These measures fail for a number of reasons, but mainly due to insufficient tech knowledge on the part of the business and talented hackers who seem to get better with technology.
Unfortunately for businesses, customers will run as soon as they realize their personal information is at risk. For instance, Yahoo!, a company that has suffered multiple data breaches over the past few years, saw thousands of customers close their accounts after the breach in late 2016.
Unlike companies in the big leagues, however, startups cannot afford to lose customers. Apart from the internet, business communication platforms such as IP PBX, VoIP systems, and cellular networks can also be used as conduits for data theft. As such, these platforms should always be kept secure to ensure the integrity of customer data and information.
Check out some of the ways startups can guarantee the safety and integrity of their communication platforms.
Ensure Physical Security
You’ve employed the latest, enterprise-grade software for your startup to keep data and information safe. However, leaving your server room without any access control measures means anyone can just walk in and access your company’s data, even when they’re not supposed to. Internal fraud and data theft is a real thing.
Therefore, startups should implement access control protocols to ensure that only authorized people have access to data storage areas and network centers.
Observe Best Password Practices
Passwords are an important first line of defense when it comes to securing any kind of business system. Still, many startups overlook best security practices for passwords, creating weak points within the system. As a rule of thumb, passwords should be changed often and not used on more than one account.
There are many password management tools out there that enable startups and small businesses to create and manage strong passwords, including LastPass and CommonKey. Instituting additional measures such as two-factor authentication can also help improve overall security.
Use Dedicated Servers
Using a single server for multiple functions exposes your communications infrastructure to many security threats. For instance, using a single server as your PBX server and web server enables intruders to access the PBX system via tools that run on the web server. Plus, if anything was to happen to the single server, multiple elements of your business would go down at the same time, which can be disastrous for startups with limited resources.
Use hosting services with a built-in CDN or Content Delivery Network because A CDN mitigates DDoS attacks by absorbing the bulk of data requests. This allows your site to maintain functional speeds too, Cheapest CDNs are not hard to find because for startups every dollar count. Always deploy separate servers for each major communication platform such as PBX and web servers. This will let you increase security for each component and ensure continuity in case one element is compromised.
Employ Patches and Firmware Updates Regularly
Many of us often get away with ignoring patch and update requests on our smartphones and computers. However, with enterprise-grade servers and business systems, these updates and patches are the lifeblood of any sound communication infrastructure. These updates are always sent out by manufacturers to fix problems that may make your systems vulnerable to attacks.
As such, they are an essential part of system maintenance and should always be installed and configured as soon as soon as they’re available.
System monitoring should be a part of every business’ regular routine. System administrators are usually tasked with the responsibility of monitoring traffic at all times, which helps establish a pattern of normal usage. They can then identify unauthorized access by monitoring traffic surges, which is what usually happens when an intruder gains access to the network.
For startups that cannot afford the services of specialized IT staff, there are many tools that can be used to monitor networks. With a brief learning curve and some patience, many of these can often be used by non-techies.