Today, every business needs to have a solid online presence. It became even more necessary during the pandemic when everything, including work, moved to cyberspace. Typical job interviews became a thing of the past, and teams across the globe continued to collaborate via various online platforms.
Now we are seeing the emergence of the hybrid business model, where remote and in-office workers continue to work side by side. Remote workers often use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to a network. After all, it adds an essential layer of security, but there are many more measures that must be taken to secure your hybrid operations.
Businesses of all sizes are competing and putting together the best marketing strategies. But it all comes down to one thing – showing up as a top result on search engines. And how can a website rank high on a search engine? It needs a little help from search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is a part of every successful marketing strategy. Unfortunately, cybercriminals also know its potential and exploit SEO to push malicious websites or products. If you want to protect your marketing strategy, it is time to learn how to keep it safe with cyber security best practices.
What are the risks to your SEO strategies?
Security should be a top priority for every company out there. After all, building a good reputation is everything in business, and customers will be more likely to visit your website because they know their personal information will be safe.
Attracting visitors could be tricky without a high ranking on a search engine like Google. You can use all the right keywords and try different tactics such as link building. However, the overall security of the website counts as well.
Then there is the possibility of your SEO strategies, content, and other materials leaking onto the web. Google Docs and Google Sheets are super handy, as is any cloud storage. But if your remote workers are not careful, a third party might access your files. The solution is cyber security best practices and implementing a zero-trust policy.
If the website is compromised in any way, it will impact the SEO performance of your business. It might experience a significant drop in the search engine results or receive a ban from Google.
How can someone harm your SEO strategies?
A practice called negative SEO is linked to hacking and cybercriminals. Hackers who are into negative SEO may target any website out there and essentially hijack it. Therefore, a legitimate business can be used to promote whatever hackers want or redirect users to a dangerous web address.
And how do cybercriminals achieve this? The answer is simple – they are looking for security flaws and exploiting them. For instance, an outdated WordPress plugin could be their way in. They also apply credential stuffing. If a company experienced a security breach and had the login data stolen in the past, hackers may try out hundreds of those usernames and passwords to access a network.
Negative SEO can damage your SEO strategies and remove your online presence from all search engines. A compromised website won’t rank up, meaning SEO strategies will be useless if your website lacks proper security.
Protecting your company and your SEO strategies
Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect your company and its SEO strategies. Applying cyber security best practices is the way to go. Here are a few things you could do:
Use a company VPN
If you are working remotely, chances are you are already using a business VPN service to connect to your company’s network. It is one way to secure the connection. Additionally, a VPN will protect the data you send or receive. Employees can log in from anywhere, even from open Wi-Fi networks, and the risk will be non-existent thanks to the encryption.
That same encryption will elevate your cybersecurity. All the information will go through an encrypted connection. Additionally, a VPN service allows you to implement access control. Not every employee needs to have access to your company’s entire network. It can minimize the potential cyber security breaches.
Make sure the cloud-based service you use is safe
Cloud-based services are among the cyber security trends thanks to the increasing need for remote work. Businesses all around the globe have recognized how convenient these platforms are. Employees have access to all the information they need at all times, regardless of where they work from.
Popular cloud-based services know about the potential cyber threats and are using cyber security best practices to ensure the safety of all users. Employees may choose the security measures they want on their account, which is a huge step forward in overall online safety.
Educate your employees about cyber security
Prioritizing cyber security among on-site and remote workers is an absolute must. Just a simple phishing attempt can crash your entire business. All it takes is one employee, so making sure everyone is familiar with cyber security best practices is mandatory.
Cyber security training should be fun and engaging. Chances are some of your employees will doze off if the classes are too long. Create smaller presentations and give them interactive homework or assignments if they are really into the subject.
Implementing the zero-trust policy
Finally, there is Zero-Trust. It is the best security framework for businesses of all sizes because it prevents cyber security threats, including ransomware and data leaks. Essentially, the Zero Trust approach is true to its name and treats all users equally.
Every user who connects to a network needs to be authenticated. Then, they are given the authority to view the data they want. Implementing zero-trust is highly recommended, especially if your employees work remotely.
After all, what are Zero-Trust and SASE?
If you have never heard of zero-trust before, it is the perfect time to explain it in detail. The concept of zero-trust is not new, as it was Stephen Paul Marsh’s idea he presented in his doctoral thesis in 1994. However, the zero-trust policy became quite popular in the last decade thanks to the increasing demand for better cyber security measures.
The zero-trust policy relies on continuous verification of every device that wants access to a network. It doesn’t matter if a user had clearance in the past. It is super practical for today’s work environment with hybrid workspaces.
Zero-trust is one of the main components of SASE (or secure access service edge). SASE is a recent term made by a company called Gartner and involves cybersecurity of networks. SASE is beneficial for both employees and companies and uses one cloud platform.
For instance, employees can connect securely from anywhere and access the network after completing authentication. Businesses can have a better overview of the information shared within the network. Plus, they may even control all the data that goes in or out.