Question: Is your company website your biggest asset or vulnerability?

Answer: Well, while your website provides valuable information across the globe, reaching as many users as your SEO efforts can, the very fact that so many viewers can access your web-site, generating traffic in the process, puts it at far greater risk of being targeted by hackers.

Solution: Learning what security risks your website might be prone to is the best way to keep your site protected, in turn protecting your name and brand image. Read on to acquaint yourself with the most common network risks and understand the problems they can cause.

The computer virus

You’re probably sick of hearing about computer viruses, but no matter how cliche it might be, protecting yourself and your company from virtual illness is pretty high up on the risk scale. What a virus does is corrupt files on your device, either by restricting actions; such as opening the files, deleting valuable data and even wiping your hard drive clean – we’re talking zero data.
The best way to protect yourself from computer viruses is to use anti-virus software and of course keep it up to date. If you run an SME or even a larger operation, advise your staff to only open emails from contacts they recognise and avoid opening links that seem odd.

Software vulnerability and network security risks

Let’s paint a not-so-pretty picture, it’s 14:45 on a Wednesday, everyone in the office is cracking away at full speed, typing, designing, answering calls and even dealing with a troublesome client; and as you’re in the thick of the storm a security update pops up in the top, right hand corner of your screen – your mouse hovers over the ‘Remind me Later’ button and click.
You’ve packed your briefcase, made your way home and before you know it it’s Friday and that notification button has been disregarded too many times to count. Outdated software slows down your entire network security and could even cause your machine to crash – meaning lost time, lost business and a major inconvenience.

Hackers on the loose

Hacker: the dirtiest word in the the world and one that pricks everyone’s ears up. We often think that the risks our computers may face live within the devices – well actually, they’re located all over the world and target random computers with intent to share data, expose trader information or even simply to try their luck at getting some money off you.
The best ways to keep your devices safe from hackers is to be weary of dodgy emails, links and websites – notifying your staff and internal users of the threats and keeping your training proce-dures up to standard.

Oops, my bad

Mistakes happen. Sometimes your employees can breach security without even realising it – and obviously without intent to harm the company; a simple, innocent mistake that could cause a lot of harm to the company. Ultimately, ignorance is not an excuse and bringing your staff to con-duct the right ‘behaviour’ on the net might help keep your company safe.

Training is really the company’s responsibility so getting your staff on board with all the network security guidelines and standards you wish to keep should be in your total interest. Remember to update all anti-virus software that could act as additional help to your company’s protection.

The unknown

Everyday is a mystery when it comes to technology advancements and network security risks. There are so many new developments, and unfortunately malware, that can attack our devices and inhibit our daily work habits costing us precious time and data – and at the end of the day… money.

The best way to protect yourself is by being aware of your ‘surroundings’ as digital as they may be. Spam will find its way into your mailbox, funny emails might come your way and and try to trick you into believing they’re legitimate – so do your best to be aware of what’s going on in your mailbox.

Final judgement: being online gets you access to everything, from fun football news to serious updates in the stock market, business emails to funny cat videos – your online behaviour, no matter how innocent, can attract unwanted attention. Whatever you do, wherever you click, keep network security at the forefront of your mind.