How to Protect Business Communication Channels from Hackers

The foundation of business success is effective communication. You can avoid conflicts, misunderstandings, delays, and overlaps internally by ensuring that your team communicates effectively. An externally positive customer experience and higher satisfaction are directly correlated with frustration-free customer communication.

However, cybercriminals also frequently target commercial communication channels. The number of cyberattacks has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly since the pandemic. According to statistics, the number of hacks increased by 38 % just last year. Even worse, a business still needs 277 days on average to find and report leaking, which results in an average loss of$ 4.35.

How can companies protect their communication channels from hackers while still giving customers the best experience possible and preserving team productivity? Everything you need to know, as well as the mistakes you should avoid, is provided below.

Utilize safe platforms

Your selection of communication channels comes first. You must provide a range of channels, from voice and video calls to texting, email, and live chat, in order to satisfy customer communication needs. Not to mention the primary ones for team collaboration tools, messaging, and internal business communication channels.

You must put security first when selecting any of these channels. It’s important to consider communication platform security standards when comparing them, whether they’re contact center software or UCaaS providers.

Has there ever been a breach? They rely on what server infrastructure and encryption. They use what cybersecurity protocols, exactly? Do they abide by the rules governing global data security? Do they provide additional security measures, like two-factor authentication?

Before choosing a communication platform for your company, you should research the answers to each of these questions.

Examine Your Permissions and Passwords.

Your company must then audit its passwords and determine which team members have access to which permissions.

Despite how unbelievable it may seem, statistics indicate that 80 % of data breaches occur. are brought on by compromised login information. They also show that despite knowing better, 75 % of people still do n’t follow password best practices.

In fact, the most popular passwords in 2024 still include” 123456,” “password,” and “admin.”

The likelihood of successful cyber breaches is significantly decreased by increasing password complexity. To protect your business communications, a thorough password review and the adoption of draconic password standards should be top priorities.

Regarding the review of permissions, it is more likely that someone will err and potentially breach a system the more users have access to it. Make sure that sensitive information is only accessible to those who truly need it.

Invest in safeguarding against cyberattacks

Purchasing cybersecurity tools is another way to safeguard your company’s communications from hackers.

Cybersecurity companies have intensified their efforts to offer tools to fend off cybercrime due to the skyrocketing rates of the crime and hackers ‘ adoption of technologies like AI.

Examine the cybersecurity software that your business employs. The absolute minimum should consist of a reliable antivirus program, Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution, (team ) password manager or vault, as well as an effective password policy.

Additionally, you can spend money on spam call protection, team member identity theft monitoring, and financial fraud monitoring.

Businesses underutilize cybersecurity monitoring tools in particular, which contributes significantly to the frequently months-long delay in breach detection. To minimize the harm and loss of customer trust in the event of a hack, it is essential that you identify it as soon as possible.

Improve the cybersecurity skills of your team.

Human error, not just the selection of weak passwords, accounts for the vast majority of successful cyber breaches.

Particularly, phishing attacks have advanced in sophistication recently. The days when a Nigerian prince who was stranded at an airport asked for money are long gone.

Instead, your supervisor emails you at the end of the day to request your login information for a high-level operation.

Alternately, a colleague from two departments sends you an email on Slack asking you to sign Sarah’s virtual birthday card from accounting.

If hackers really go above and beyond, the CEO of your business might even call to ask for your assistance with a technical problem.

Many people in all of these situations would n’t hesitate to share information or click the link they were sent, without considering voice or spear phishing. And right now, that’s all it takes to allow cybercriminals to stealthily access your communication systems.

You must improve your team’s cybersecurity abilities, including their ability to spot and flag fraud, in order to stop any of these scenarios from occurring. Regular cybersecurity training is essential, as are spot checks to ensure everyone follows best practices.

Create SOPs and a cybersecurity procedure.

Finally, creating standardized operating procedures and a set cybersecurity routine is necessary to safeguard your company’s communication channels from hackers.

Your SOPs should include instructions on how to safeguard your systems as well as what to do if a breach occurs or is suspected. Every member of your team should be able to spot any suspicious activity and be aware of who to contact.

If they receive a spearphishing message on their work phone, who should they alert?

What should I do if my database is acting strangely?

To prevent a potential breach, which systems must be shut down first?

These are all inquiries that must be answered and shared with your team.

Similar to how uncomfortable it is, creating backup plans for the worst-case scenario of a successful breach is also necessary. What plan do you have to get your website back after it was taken as a hostage? And how can a potential threat be made known to customers?

Finally, you must regularly, weekly, quarterly, and annually incorporate cybersecurity into your routines. You must stay current in order to protect your communications because cybercriminals constantly change their strategies.

This entails staying current on scams, new threats, and cybersecurity news. Additionally, it entails routine password changes, system evaluations, and SOP updates.

Conclusion

It takes a lot of work to safeguard your company’s communications from hackers. It begins with the platforms and cybersecurity tools you select, but it also necessitates ongoing vigilance. Regular password and permission audits, education of yourself and your team, and the creation of cybersecurity SOPs and routines are all essential.

Even though it all requires a lot of time, effort, and resources, it is well worth it. The alternative is to expose yourself to attacks that could have serious financial repercussions and completely undermine customer confidence. The question in that situation is when, not if, you are breached.

You can only protect your communication channels with the best tools, team members who adhere to cybersecurity best practices, and the ability to spot phishing attacks.

Hasan Saleem, a successful serial entrepreneur, investor, and the creator of numerous technology and e-commerce startups, is the author of this insightful piece. He now oversees a marketing firm that assists startups and small businesses in building strong online presences.

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