What Your Business or Organization Must Do to Stay Unhackable

The increasing digitization of business & organization functions and the burgeoning threat landscape mean that the risks of cyberattacks are higher than ever. No matter the size of your business, ensuring data and systems security must be a top priority. Even seemingly secure organizations are vulnerable to sophisticated hackers, with the World Economic Forum reporting that cybercrime will cost the global economy $2.9 trillion by 2025.

That said, complete immunity to hacking is an unattainable ideal. Instead, businesses should focus on being as resilient as possible, decreasing their vulnerability, and speeding up recovery time in the event of a breach. This article explores several critical steps your business can take to avoid falling prey to cyber threats.

1. Risk Assessment

The first step in bolstering your security posture is understanding the risks you face. A risk assessment can identify vulnerabilities in your systems and prioritize them according to the potential impact on your business.

  • Conduct a comprehensive audit: Identify all hardware, software, data, and network assets, and examine them for potential vulnerabilities. This helps in understanding the most sensitive areas of your business.
  • Prioritize risks: Not all risks are equal. Classify them based on their potential impact and likelihood of occurrence.
  • Update regularly: Cyber threats evolve rapidly. Regular updates of your risk assessment will ensure you stay ahead.

2. Employee Education

Human error remains one of the primary reasons for successful cyberattacks. According to a study by CybSafe, human error accounted for 90% of cyber data breaches in 2019. Therefore, it’s crucial to educate employees about cybersecurity.

  • Regular training sessions: Equip employees with knowledge about common threats, such as phishing, malware, or social engineering attacks.
  • Simulated attacks: These can be effective for testing employee awareness and adjusting training accordingly.
  • Create a cybersecurity culture: Encourage employees to report suspicious activities and reward those who help identify potential threats.

3. Implement Robust Security Policies

Once you understand your risks and your employees are aware of cyber threats, you must implement stringent security policies.

  • Access control: Implement a policy of least privilege (PoLP), granting employees only the necessary access to perform their duties.
  • Password policy: Enforce strong, unique password use and consider implementing multi-factor authentication.
  • Update policy: Ensure regular updates and patches to all software, hardware, and networks to fix potential vulnerabilities.

4. Secure Your Network

Securing your network infrastructure is a critical aspect of your cybersecurity strategy.

  • Firewalls: These act as a first line of defense by controlling incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
  • Encryption: Encrypt data at rest and in transit to make it unreadable to unauthorized users.
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS): These can help identify potential threats and respond to them in real time.

5. Regularly Back Up Data

Data is often the primary target of cyberattacks. Regularly backing up data ensures business continuity, even if your data is compromised.

  • Automated backups: Automating your backup processes ensures that all important data is regularly backed up.
  • Offsite and onsite backups: Have a mix of offsite and onsite backups for added security. Cloud-based backups can be particularly beneficial.
  • Regular testing: Regularly test your backups to ensure they can be restored in the event of a disaster.

6. Incident Response Planning

Despite best efforts, breaches can happen. Having an incident response plan in place can help mitigate the damage.

  • Develop a response plan: Identify the steps your business will take following a security breach.
  • Regular drills: Run through the plan regularly to identify potential weak points.
  • Involve all stakeholders: Make sure everyone involved knows their roles in the event of a breach.

7. Regular Audits and Penetration Testing

Regular audits and penetration testing are essential for maintaining an effective cybersecurity posture.

  • Audit security measures: Regularly review your security measures to identify any weaknesses.
  • Penetration testing: Hire ethical hackers to test your system’s defenses and identify vulnerabilities.

The University of Maryland reports a hacking attempt every 39 seconds on average, affecting one in three Americans every year. Given these high stakes, a proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity is crucial. By assessing your risks, educating employees, implementing robust security policies, securing your network, backing up data, planning for incidents, and conducting regular audits, your business can fortify itself against most cyber threats. Remember, staying unhackable is a continuous process, not a one-time task.

What Hacked.com can do for your Business or Organization

Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Management

At Hacked.com, we run comprehensive risk assessments for SMBs to identify potential vulnerabilities. This includes auditing network infrastructure, applications, and employee practices. Based on the findings, we tailor a management plan that prioritizes mitigating identified risks, ensuring a targeted and effective approach to cybersecurity.

Network Security Solutions

Our team implements robust network security solutions customized for SMBs, including:

  • Firewalls: We install and configure firewalls to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic, preventing unauthorized access and protecting against malware attacks.
  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS): We deploy IDPS solutions to detect and block suspicious activities within the network, providing an additional layer of defense against cyber threats.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs): We set up secure VPN connections to enable remote access for employees outside the office, ensuring data privacy and integrity.
  • Secure Wi-Fi: We secure SMBs’ wireless networks by implementing strong encryption protocols, changing default router credentials, and regularly updating firmware.

Endpoint Protection

We safeguard SMBs’ endpoints, such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, by implementing effective endpoint protection solutions:

  • Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software: We deploy robust antivirus and anti-malware solutions to detect and remove malicious software, protecting endpoints from malware infections.
  • Patch Management: We establish a patch management system to ensure that endpoints are updated with the latest security patches and updates, reducing the risk of exploitation through known vulnerabilities.
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM): We implement MDM solutions to enforce security policies on mobile devices, including data encryption, remote wiping capabilities, and app installation restrictions.

Data Protection and Backup Solutions

We assist SMBs in securing their critical data and establishing robust backup solutions:

  • Data Encryption: We encrypt sensitive data to protect it from unauthorized access at rest and in transit. This includes implementing strong encryption algorithms and using secure protocols for data transfer.
  • Secure Cloud Storage: We recommend secure cloud storage solutions that provide encryption, strong access controls, and data redundancy to protect against data loss or breaches.
  • Regular Data Backups: We develop and implement automated backup strategies to ensure that SMBs’ critical data is regularly backed up and can be restored during data loss or ransomware attacks.

Employee Training and Awareness Programs

We educate SMB employees on cybersecurity best practices and offer customized training programs that cover:

  • Phishing Awareness: We educate employees on identifying phishing emails, suspicious links, and social engineering techniques.
  • Password Hygiene: We promote strong password practices, including the use of complex passwords, regular password changes, and the avoidance of password reuse across different platforms. If convenient, we can help implement Face ID / Finger ID based on FIDO’s passkey solution (passwordless sign-ins).
  • Social Media and Online Privacy: We raise awareness about the potential risks associated with oversharing personal or sensitive information on social media platforms, emphasizing the importance of privacy settings and cautious online behavior.

Incident Response and Disaster Recovery Planning

We assist SMBs in developing incident response plans and disaster recovery strategies to minimize the impact of security incidents:

  • Incident Response Planning: We work with SMBs to create a step-by-step plan for responding to security incidents, including roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and escalation procedures.
  • Backup and Recovery: We establish robust backup and recovery mechanisms to ensure SMBs can restore their systems and data after a cybersecurity incident or data breach.
  • Regular Testing and Review: We conduct periodic testing and review of incident response and disaster recovery plans to identify potential gaps, update procedures, and improve SMBs’ overall preparedness.

Ongoing Monitoring and Support

We provide SMBs with continuous monitoring, detection, and response services to stay vigilant against emerging threats:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): We implement SIEM solutions to collect, analyze, and correlate security events and logs, enabling timely detection and response to potential security incidents.
  • Managed Detection and Response (MDR): We offer MDR services that combine advanced threat intelligence, 24/7 monitoring, and expert response capabilities to proactively identify and mitigate cybersecurity threats.
  • Security Operations Center (SOC) as a Service: We establish a virtual SOC to deliver round-the-clock monitoring, incident management, and response services, providing SMBs with a cost-effective solution to enhance their security posture.

Other Services Offered by Hacked.com

Continuous Risk Assessments

We provide regular risk assessments to monitor your business’s security posture continually. Our approach identifies new threats and vulnerabilities that may have emerged, ensuring your security measures are always up-to-date and effective.

Cloudflare Best Practices

We assist your business in optimizing the use of Cloudflare’s services, ensuring your website operates at its full potential and remains protected against common threats:

  • DDoS Protection: Cloudflare offers robust DDoS protection, shielding your website from harmful traffic meant to disrupt or disable it. We guide you in implementing and optimizing Cloudflare’s DDoS protection settings, ensuring your site remains accessible even under a DDoS attack.
  • Secure DNS Services: We help you configure Cloudflare’s DNS services to add an extra layer of security to your website. This includes setting up DNSSEC, which protects your site from DNS spoofing attacks. We also advise on best practices for managing your DNS records securely on Cloudflare.
  • Content Optimization: Cloudflare offers several features to improve your website’s load time and performance. This includes content caching, minifying files, and using a content delivery network (CDN). We assist you in leveraging these features, optimizing your website’s performance, and improving user experience.
  • Website Security: Besides DDoS protection, Cloudflare provides a range of security features such as a Web Application Firewall (WAF), rate limiting, and bot management. We guide you in configuring these features to maximize your site’s protection against threats.
  • SSL/TLS Encryption: We assist in setting up Cloudflare’s SSL/TLS encryption to ensure data between your website and visitors is always encrypted. This secures data and can improve SEO rankings as search engines favor secure sites.

Domain Provider Best Practices

We guide your business in implementing best practices to secure your domain registrations and protect against unauthorized transfers and DNS-related vulnerabilities:

  • Securing Domain Registrations: Protecting your domain starts with the registration process. We advise using a reputable domain registrar known for its strong security measures. We also recommend implementing domain privacy, which keeps your personal information from being publicly available in WHOIS records, reducing the risk of domain hijacking and other forms of cybercrime.
  • Preventing Unauthorized Transfers: Domain hijacking, where a hacker takes control of your domain by transferring it to another registrar, can devastate your business. We assist in setting up transfer locks (also known as domain locks) that prevent unauthorized transfers of your domain. In addition, we recommend using strong, unique passwords and two-factor authentication for your domain registrar account for added security.
  • Implementing DNSSEC: DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) adds an extra layer of security to your domain by verifying the information provided by DNS with digital signatures. This prevents DNS spoofing (or DNS cache poisoning), where hackers redirect your visitors to a different website without their knowledge. We guide you in setting up DNSSEC correctly to provide this added level of protection.
  • Regular Domain and DNS Audits: We recommend conducting regular audits of your domain and DNS settings. These audits can help detect any unauthorized changes, potential security vulnerabilities, or signs of a cyberattack, enabling you to take corrective action promptly.

Hosting Best Practices

We provide expert advice on secure web hosting practices to ensure the integrity and availability of your business’s online presence:

  • Choosing a Secure Hosting Provider: Not all hosting providers are created equal regarding security. We help you select a provider with robust security features, such as intrusion detection systems, DDoS protection, and a reliable firewall. Additionally, we look for hosting providers offering consistent system updates and round-the-clock customer support to address any security concerns swiftly.
  • Implementing SSL: Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that encrypts data in transit between the user’s browser and the server, ensuring confidentiality of data. We guide your business in implementing SSL, a must-have for any website, especially e-commerce platforms where sensitive customer data like credit card details are frequently exchanged.
  • Securing the Web Server: Securing your server involves a multi-faceted approach. We advise on best practices such as regularly updating server software, disabling unnecessary services running on your server, implementing a strong password policy and two-factor authentication, and ensuring proper file permissions. We also recommend implementing a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to provide further protection.
  • Maintaining Regular Updates and Patches: Keeping your server software up-to-date is crucial in defending against potential security vulnerabilities. We help you establish a routine for regular updates and patches, closing any security gaps that hackers might exploit. This includes updates to the server OS, databases, applications, and all installed plugins.

Email Protection

We offer comprehensive email protection services to prevent phishing, spoofing, and other email-based attacks. These services include:

  • DMARC Implementation: DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is a protocol designed to protect your organization’s email domain from being exploited by malicious actors. We guide you in implementing and configuring DMARC, ensuring it is correctly set up to provide maximum protection.
  • SPF and DKIM: Along with DMARC, we assist in setting up SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). These technologies work together to authenticate your email, reducing the chance of your domain being used for spam or phishing attempts.
  • Email Encryption: We set up email encryption for your organization, protecting sensitive information from being intercepted during transit. This includes helping you choose the appropriate level of encryption for your business needs.
  • Anti-Spam and Anti-Phishing Filters: We implement advanced anti-spam and anti-phishing filters to block malicious emails before they reach your inbox. Our team continuously updates these filters to stay ahead of new threats.

Platform-Specific Best Practices

Whether your business operates on WordPress, Wix, Shopify, or Amazon, we offer expert guidance tailored to these platforms:

WordPress Security

We offer specialized services for WordPress websites:

  • Securing the Login: The WordPress login is a common brute-force attack target. We guide you in implementing measures like limiting login attempts, changing the default “admin” username, and implementing CAPTCHA or Google reCAPTCHA.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: We assist you in setting up two-factor authentication for WordPress logins, adding an additional layer of security that can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Regular Updates: Keeping WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated is crucial to maintaining a secure website. We help you establish a routine for regular updates and safely perform these updates.
  • Backups: We assist in setting up automated backups, ensuring you can recover quickly in the event of data loss or a successful attack on your website.
  • Anti-Malware Scanning: We recommend reliable anti-malware solutions suitable for WordPress and guide you in performing regular scans.
  • Safest Plugins and Themes: The vast ecosystem of WordPress plugins and themes can be a minefield regarding security. We guide you in choosing the safest and most reliable plugins and themes for your website.

Wix, Shopify, and Amazon Best Practices

We provide expert guidance for maintaining a secure online presence on Wix, Shopify, and Amazon platforms:

  • Store Settings: We guide you in configuring your online store settings to maximize security. This includes setting up user permissions, managing customer data, and implementing secure checkout processes.
  • Transaction Security: We advise you on securing transactions on these platforms, including SSL implementation and secure payment gateway configuration.
  • Privacy Policy and Terms of Service: We assist you in developing clear and comprehensive privacy policies and terms of service that comply with relevant regulations and build trust with your customers.
  • Secure Delivery and Fulfillment: We provide best practices for secure and reliable delivery and fulfillment processes, ensuring customer satisfaction while protecting your business.

Social Media Security

We help your business navigate the dynamic and often complex world of social media safely:

  • Secure Account Settings: We guide you through the privacy and security settings of different social media platforms. This includes setting up two-factor authentication, controlling who can see your posts, and ensuring your accounts are protected from unauthorized access.
  • Safe Content Sharing Practices: Social media can be a goldmine of information for cybercriminals. We help you develop guidelines for what information can be safely shared on social media and what should remain confidential. We also guide you on safely using features like geotagging and third-party apps.
  • Recognizing and Avoiding Threats: From phishing scams to fake accounts, social media has its fair share of security threats. We train your team to recognize common social media threats and take appropriate action to avoid them.
  • Reputation Management: Social media platforms are often the first place customers voice their complaints. We help you respond to these promptly and securely, maintaining your reputation while preventing potential security risks.
  • Employee Training: Your employees are your first line of defense. We offer training to ensure they understand their role in maintaining security, know the risks and know how to respond to potential threats.

24/7 Standby Response Team

Security incidents can occur at any time. Our dedicated response team is ready around the clock to address such issues:

  • Swift Incident Response: In a security incident, our team responds quickly and effectively to minimize potential damage, secure your digital infrastructure, and restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
  • Expertise: Our response team comprises seasoned cybersecurity experts with experience in handling various security incidents. They possess the necessary skills and knowledge to tackle threats and protect your business.
  • Post-Incident Analysis: After resolving a security incident, our team performs a thorough analysis to understand its cause and impact, learn from it, and improve future responses. We will also provide a detailed report of the incident and our response.

Disaster Recovery Planning

We assist your business in developing a robust disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity, even in the event of a major incident:

  • Data Backups: Regular, secure data backups are a key part of any disaster recovery plan. We guide you in setting up automated backup processes, choosing secure backup locations, and regularly testing the restore process.
  • Infrastructure Recovery Procedures: In the event of a disaster, you need to be able to restore your IT infrastructure as quickly as possible. We help you create detailed, step-by-step procedures for recovering infrastructure tailored to your specific systems and requirements.
  • Communication Plans: During a disaster, clear and effective communication is crucial. We help you develop a communication plan to inform stakeholders about the situation and how you’re handling it, which can go a long way in maintaining trust during a crisis.

Ongoing Monitoring and Support

Effective cybersecurity requires continuous vigilance. We provide ongoing monitoring and support to keep your business secure:

  • Real-Time Monitoring: Using state-of-the-art Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions, we monitor your systems in real-time to detect and respond to threats as soon as they arise.
  • Incident Response: When our monitoring systems detect a potential threat, our team swiftly investigates and responds appropriately. This can often prevent a potential security incident from becoming disruptive to your business.
  • Regular Reports and Insights: We provide regular reports on your security posture, including detected threats, system vulnerabilities, and our response actions. We also provide insights and recommendations to improve your overall security.

Work-From-Home Policy and Assistance

In the evolving digital landscape, remote work has become the norm rather than the exception. While it offers flexibility, it also opens up a new set of cybersecurity challenges. At Hacked.com, we provide expert guidance and assistance in creating and implementing robust work-from-home policies:

  • Secure Home Networks: We assist in securing your employees’ home networks, recommending and setting up VPNs, firewalls, and other security measures.
  • Device Security: From encrypting data to keeping software and antivirus programs updated, we ensure your employees’ devices are well-protected.
  • Data Protection: We guide your team in following best practices for data protection, including using secure cloud storage and encrypting sensitive files.
  • Training and Awareness: We offer specialized training programs covering remote work security risks and mitigating them, creating a human firewall against cyber threats.

Securing Your Digital Future with Hacked.com

At Hacked.com, our core mission is to safeguard your business by enhancing your existing cybersecurity measures. We’re not here to reinvent the wheel; rather, our security team leverages its vast experience to audit, improve, and manage pre-existing services according to each client’s unique needs. From recommending the most secure software to configuring optimal settings and training your team, we align our strategies with your specific operational context. The digital landscape may be fraught with risks, but with Hacked.com by your side, your business is well-equipped to navigate it safely.

Schedule your free consultation today here.

Image by Midjourney and Jonas Borchgrevink.