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Can A VPN Improve Small Business Cybersecurity?

Can a VPN improve small business cybersecurity

All busi­nesses today should recognise the importance of having an effective cyber­se­curity policy in place. Data breaches seem to be con­stantly in the news. Whilst those tend to be high-profile cases like TalkTalk and British Airways, small busi­nesses fre­quently suffer data breaches too. In recent years, Virtual Private Net­works (“VPNs”) have become quite common for home use — so can a VPN improve small business cyber­se­curity?

Well, yes — but let’s cover the basics before examining the business benefits of a VPN.

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a private network (within the public internet) that enhances your online privacy by:

  • Giving you a tem­porary IP address when you go online
  • Encrypting data transfers between your com­puter and other online resources
  • Wrapping that data inside other data to keep it even more private (called “tun­neling” or “encap­su­lation”)

An IP address is the numeric address of your com­puter on the internet.… Read the rest

GDPR — Where To Start?

GDPR

The new General Data Pro­tection Reg­u­lation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25th 2018. It will affect every business and change many estab­lished business prac­tices and business models. It will also require a fair bit of work to ensure com­pliance, so if you aren’t already working on that, you need to learn about this and start now.

I was going to do a lot of research and attempt to write some­thing about how all busi­nesses need to be ready for it. However, I’m not a lawyer, and giving bad advice could be risky. Also, there is no way that I could come up with some­thing as clear or com­pre­hensive as Heather Burns’ white paper on GDPR for Business Owners & Senior Exec­utives.

If you have a business of any size, whether it’s online or not, or if you’re even just at the stage of con­sid­ering setting up a business, you need to read that.… Read the rest

Meltdown & Spectre Simplified

Meltdown & Spectre cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Meltdown & Spectre

So, 2018 has started with dis­closure of two huge cyber­se­curity vul­ner­ab­il­ities, called “Meltdown” and “Spectre”. These are not like most of the “exploits” that hackers use. They affect almost all modern com­puters.

Sites like MeltdownAttack.com and Defiant.com (pre­vi­ously “Word­Fence”) have covered the tech details well. So, here’s a sim­plified summary of what non-techies need to know.

Why You Should Care About Meltdown & Spectre

Most vul­ner­ab­il­ities affect software. Meltdown and Spectre affect CPUs — the core com­puter chips — mostly those built by Intel since 1995. So they don’t just affect PCs, or Windows, or Macs, or Linux. They affect com­puters, regardless of what software or oper­ating systems you use. In short — yes, this affects your computer(s) and phone(s).Read the rest

It’s All About Trust — Increasing Sales With SSL Security

SSL security trust mark

“Trust me.” That’s the most vital message any website can convey. Without trust, vis­itors just leave.

However, most folks expect to be trusted, even when they’re wary about trusting others. Whilst that’s fine for dealing with folks in person, web­sites need to plan to build trust. We do that by providing quality content, good service — and “trust marks” like testi­mo­nials, “About” pages, Privacy Policies and other reas­sur­ances.

Of course, search engines want to promote quality, trust­worthy sites, so many of these reas­sur­ances can be good for SEO, too. So online, trust doesn’t just enable sales — it act­ively increases sales.

…and Google just changed the game.

Google’s Great SSL Plan

So, as you may know, Google uses hun­dreds of signals to assess the quality and trust­wor­thiness of web­sites.… Read the rest

Anti-Malware Solutions — 5 Vital Elements

Anti-malware solutions

“Malware” covers a huge range of threats including viruses, spyware, ransomware and more. So, anti-malware solu­tions must defend on several fronts. Many include anti-spam and firewall solu­tions too, as these block common malware sources.

Some oper­ating systems are more secure than others, but nothing can be 100% secure. Malware is built to work around any pre­dictable default pro­tec­tions. So, whilst it’s worth keeping built-in anti-malware up to date, you’ll need more.

Essential Anti-Malware Components

So, what fea­tures should you look for in your anti-malware solution? Well, there are five that no system should be without.

1. Anti-Virus

The most obvious requirement is an effective, up-to-date anti-virus system. These mainly handle:

  • Viruses – which need human inter­action to spread
  • Worms – which self-rep­licate.
Read the rest

Password Security Made Simple

Password security

Password security is the first — and often weakest — line of defence against cyber-attacks. Unfor­tu­nately, pass­words are the cyber­se­curity measure we all love to hate.

Techies take a lot of flak for imple­menting password security, but we didn’t invent it. Call them pass­words, PINs, keys or whatever you like — they all work the same way: a pattern grants access to a restricted resource. As such, password security measures have existed throughout history and will be around in some form for a while yet.

That said, pass­words have never been as common as they are today — and cracking them was far harder without com­puters. These days, weak pass­words only create a false sense of security. So, we all need to know how to use pass­words effect­ively.… Read the rest