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Ensuring brand protection against cyber attacks

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By Rishabh Sinha

Companies across all industries and sizes must make sure that they are protected and safeguarded against all forms of cyberattacks today. This is because the companies today publish a lot of data online that needs to be protected. When talking about small businesses, they are more vulnerable to these cyberattacks since they don't tend to invest much in information security as compared to larger enterprises. Also, there is a common belief between the thought-leaders and decision-makers in small businesses that might not be attacked to any form of . This belief often drives them to invest less in enhancing cybersecurity posture. As per an online statistic states that 43% of cyberattacks aimed towards small businesses.

It doesn't matter if it's a large enterprise or a small business firm, the security of their data at all times is the inevitable need of the hour. The insecurity of data leads to severe implications to the reputation and brand damage. So, to make sure that the reputation of his brand remains secured, a business leader must deploy the following methods-

  1. Using HTTPS Protocol

Every business today has a website hosted online and this website depicts their digital identity. These websites also have vital information that can be easily accessed. So, as a digital practice, these websites must use an HTTPS protocol as a standard. Using the HTTPS protocol keeps away the malicious intruders from breaching into the network or even modifying the data that is being exchanged between the website and customers. HTTPS protocols are well recognized by the search engine's crawlers that check the authority of a website through various visual cues. Having an HTTPS convention in the website URL helps in building reputation and trust amongst the website visitors as they feel that their data is secured. If there is a successful website with a notable online status, its visitors will keep visiting them again-and-again, leading to enhanced brand loyalty.

  1. Be Careful About Where Data is Stored

Today, there are various alternatives to where the company data is being stored. Some of these include-

  • On-premise locations: The data is stored over a physical server owned by a business
  • Colocation: The data is stored over some physical servers at exclusive centers by sharing the location with other hosted businesses
  • Public Cloud: The data is stored online in a Cloud setup and this Cloud & its resources are used by others present
  • Private Cloud: The business data is present on a dedicated Cloud setup designed for a specific customer by offering additional protection layers

In reality, with cyberattacks overgrowing, none of these data storage locations can be considered fully secure. As a business owner, one should note the security measures being offered by the provider. Also, it is essential to note that these solutions that are being offered are compliant with the latest industry-defined standards.

  1. Using Updated Software

Any successful brand today considers every aspect of its work process to be on the same grounds. This even includes the minute of the details like using updated software. The updated software serves as the key line of defense when it comes to security against cyberattacks. These latest and updated software contain fixes that can counter vulnerabilities using the most recent and updated methods.

  1. Employee Education & Access Control is Important

The absence of any essential cybersecurity-related certification can have a quite denting impact on the image of one's brand. Thus, business owners must educate and train their employees on how they can ‘spot and identify' any digital risk. Businesses should regularly conduct mock cybersecurity drills with their internal employees so that they can avert any losses in case of a real cyberattack.

To maintain the brand's cybersecurity, it is also important that businesses define access control levels for employees. There should be a clear distinction between users of various levels (admins, users, developers).

  1. Preparing a Crisis Plan

Nearly 2/3rd of the organizations don't have an emergency crisis plan handy when a cyberattack occurs. To make sure that one's brand doesn't get damaged due to any cybersecurity, it becomes inevitably important to formulate a crisis plan. Any successful crisis plan often includes the following-

  • Clear definition of the potential security breaches that might occur
  • Having a dedicated IR team in case of a cyberattack
  • Creating a crisis rule with an elaborative sequence of actions
  • Regular updating the crisis plan and the testing rules

With an emergency plan prepared in advance, it can help the businesses to address and restrict the extent of security vulnerability quickly.

  1. Tracking Website Visitors

Websites today are the digital face of any business and to ensure that the brand remains visible, it is important to track the visitors. For any business, it becomes important to ensure the maximum security of their websites using various mechanisms. Business websites host multiple forms of critical data, and their safety is a must. Thus, website owners must ensure that the data is secured using various mechanisms like- vulnerability scanning tools, antiviruses against all cyberattacks. A secured website also results in enhanced brand loyalty, as visitors keep visiting them.

  1. Monitoring Attacks

In today's time, phishing attacks have emerged as one of the most prevalent forms of cyberattacks. Phishing attacks don't rely on malware. However, their motive revolves around tricking the targets into sharing their essential data. Most of the phishing attacks are not usually probed; it can still damage the brand image as it uses the brand name and logo from the clients and the end-customers. If these phishing attacks become a regular feature for a brand, that it is indeed a sign of worry for the business owner.

For any business owner, he must protect the company as well as the brand against the possible cyberattacks. Protection of the brand against cyberattacks requires a more robust strategy that needs to be adopted for protecting not only the business data and customers but also its reputation and images. Hackers have developed several strategies that can hamper the brand without actually targeting the website.

 The author is a technology writer at Software. Views are personal.

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