Cybersecurity concerns businesses of all sizes, including SEO agencies as they need to prepare themselves to face the evolving threats of the cyber world. Cyberattacks have the potential to wreak havoc on their operations, costing them time, money, or even clients in some cases.
But fear not, as we will provide SEO agencies with 7 cybersecurity tips that are specifically tailored to their needs. We will talk about everything from how to encrypt communication to preparing for an incident response plan. These tips will help these agencies stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and ensure the safety of their organization as well as their client’s sensitive information.
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Use Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication
Picture this: a hacker is trying to **** into your agency’s network. First, they may start by guessing passwords, hoping that you have a weak one. If you and all users have complex and virtually impossible-to-guess passwords, score one for your team.
With that being said, they of course use some advanced tools and social engineering tricks to access credentials. If you enable MFA as well as having strong password policies, they will not be able to get into your systems even if they have access to passwords, because they’ll fail to provide the second step of the verification process.
In today’s world, strong passwords and MFA is like armor for your agency’s security plan. That’s why we suggest password policies that enforce 12-15 characters and a combination of upper and lower cases, numbers, and special characters. Don’t forget about MFA too since this technology asks for something that the user has such as a fingerprint.
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Regularly Update Software and Hardware
There is one truth about cybersecurity: the landscape constantly changes and hackers find new ways to exploit the vulnerabilities in software and hardware. That’s why it is important to keep your software and hardware updated at all times and receive the latest security patches. Not only does this protect you against known vulnerabilities, but it also helps maintain device posture security.
Device posture security refers to the process of ensuring all the devices within a network are properly configured, updated, and patched to prevent vulnerabilities that criminals can target. The devices include smartphones, routers, tablets, or any other device connected to the network as well as computers.
What do you need to do to ensure you are always up-to-****? First of all, you can simply turn on automatic updates wherever possible. Secondly, you can check for updates manually in a scheduled manner. This is especially great practice for critical software such as OS, web browsers, and antivirus software.
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Implement Encryption and Secure Communication
Great communication with different teams and clients is essential for the success of an SEO agency. But with so much sensitive information exchanged online, securing communication and protecting it from prying eyes is a must. Encryption and secure communication are here to do that.
Encryption refers to the process of rendering a piece of communication or a file unreadable to malicious users on the Internet. It ensures that when your data travels, it is nothing more than a confusing puzzle for potential hackers. The encrypted file then gets decrypted when it gets to the pre-defined destination, keeping you and the recipient secure.
There are various ways to encrypt communication, including using Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). These technologies are easy to implement, affordable, and highly capable of securing communications.
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Prepare an Incident Response Plan
Despite doing everything, cyber attacks can still happen. That’s why you need to have an incident response plan, an idea of how to act when an attack happens. There should be clear policies and procedures to respond to an incident.
Your incident response plan should include how to detect, contain, and remediate the incident. It is also a must to figure out how to communicate with stakeholders and handle the aftermath. A well-thought plan will help you minimize the impact and recover from an incident relatively quickly.
Back-Up Data Regularly
Common threats such as ransomware can cause you to lose access to your networks and resources. Hackers that attempt ransomware will usually ask you for a ransom to give the access back, or threaten you with deleting all the important data in the device.
To protect yourself and your agency from these threats, you can simply back up the data on your systems. You will have a copy of the important files with regular backups in a safe location. For smaller organizations, this can be done simply with external hardware, or you can get this service from online providers. One thing to look for is how secure your backups are; if you can encrypt them, that is the best way to do it.
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Train Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices
We can talk all day long about how to protect networks with the latest technology solutions, but it all comes down to your employees who are the first line of defense. Many types of cyberattacks target the end-users such as phishing scams.
In order to strengthen your users and raise awareness, you need to train them on cybersecurity best practices. Teach them how to identify a potential threat, how to figure out if an email comes from unfriendly sources, or which websites they can or not visit when on the company network. This will help them protect themselves as well as the company’s resources.
Monitor for Cybersecurity Threats and Incidents
Even if you have a great security posture, you cannot simply leave it like that as cyber threats always change and unknown risks arise. What you need to do is monitor for potential threats and identify risks before they become major issues.
Performing frequent penetration tests and vulnerability scans is a great way to achieve this. By getting assistance from pen-test teams and professionals on threat detection, you can proactively identify incoming threats and prepare your network for them.