Protecting your online retirement business
Posted on: 16 April 2015 by Adam Bradley
For those of us operating businesses from home, effective business protection goes beyond the simplistic solutions that apply to domestic network configurations. In depth scrutiny of what is happening on your network is required in order to ascertain potential vulnerabilities and how to uncover them. The better informed you are, the easier it will be to spot which areas might cause problems or compromise security. Here are a few examples of what to look out for.
It’s a sobering thought that today there are probably more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet. In this respect we are all experiencing the ‘internet of everything’, which is impacting diverse aspects of our lives such as manufacturing, education, and shopping, as well as our normal, everyday existence. This means that personal data is more exposed to risk than ever before, and that all of us need to be more vigilant when it comes to making sure our private details, and our clients’ data, are protected from unwanted intrusion and corruption.
For those of us operating businesses from home, effective business protection goes beyond the simplistic solutions that apply to domestic network configurations. In depth scrutiny of what is happening on your network is required in order to ascertain potential vulnerabilities and how to uncover them. The better informed you are, the easier it will be to spot which areas might cause problems or compromise security. Here are a few examples of what to look out for:
Always update security software
Internet thieves and fraudsters are right on top of the latest trends and it’s important that you update your hardware and software regularly. Frequent scans are a great way of protecting business information. Wi-Fi networks should be hidden and encrypted so that the network name is not revealed. It goes without saying that your password should be particularly strong.
Make sure anyone who works with or for you understands your basic security practices and adheres to your policies for internet use; handling and protecting customer information and data should be at the top of your list of priorities. Enabling firewall security will help particularly if some of your employees work from their own home and more so if they hold confidential information on mobile devices.
For domestic purposes, home networks are often regarded as a touch of luxury. However, when operating a business from home you should consider your home network as an important business asset, and therefore one that deserves the best protection. As well as making sure that you execute regular backups on all devices, when you’re working from home, remember that software is simply a tool and can be used for good or evil. Always take appropriate precautions.
Always research any vulnerability associated with your network, and pay attention to programs that might expose these. In particular, look for cross-site scripting that allows attackers to bypass your standard access controls and might compromise your client data.
In addition, malicious “malware” may attempt to attack and infect devices connected to your network, spy on users, or steal passwords. For example, a “malicious script” may use all available memory or CPU, thereby denying other users access to the system. Shellshock vulnerability, which is also known as Bash bug, has a widespread impact enabling remote code injection of often arbitrary commands without authentication. This then allows overtly malicious code to take over the targeted operating system and access confidential information.
HTTPS and your retirement business
Popular retirement businesses include consultancy, in one form or another, mainly because experienced people have a lot to offer to both established companies and start-up businesses. This means that safely storing and accessing confidential client information is vital. In a similar way, operating an e-commerce business is becoming more popular; if you are handling online financial transactions then you need to demonstrate to customers and other businesses that their information is safe and secure.
The most secure communications over a computer network are conducted via HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which protects the privacy and integrity of data exchanges. Adopting HTTPS means your customers’ data can be kept secure and cannot be adversely affected by malicious code or other interference. You will benefit from encryption, so that unauthorized third parties cannot eavesdrop on data exchanges, and there will be security to prevent corruption during exchanges and authentication so sites can be verified and exchanges will not be intercepted illegally.
When you enable HTTPS for your website you obtain a security certificate from a reliable certificate authority, which means that your site has been verified. It is worth choosing a 2048-bit key rather than the weaker 1024-bit version, as this will help search engines to see that your site is secure.
The “internet of everything” is undoubtedly here to stay, and as online fraud becomes ever more sophisticated it is vital to keep up to speed with the latest security developments, so that your retirement business will flourish successfully and your data will remain intact and safe.