Heartbleed: A Checklist to Protect Your Business

Image via Shutterstock.com

Image via Shutterstock.com


The Heartbleed bug affected over 66 percent of websites. Heartbleed is a bug in OpenSSL that allowed malicious users to gain access to private encrypted data like passwords and credit card information. For the last two weeks, businesses and individual Internet users have scrambled to protect their private data in the wake of Heartbleed. If you have already taken steps to deal with the bug, you may now be asking yourself:  How can you protect your business against the next Heartbleed?

Use this checklist to make sure your business is taking appropriate measures to avoid the next Heartbleed.

  1. Secure file transfer software. Use secure file transfer software to send sensitive documents from individual to individual and from office to office. Secure file transfer software uses more complex encryption protocols that are tougher to crack than standard web-based encryption.
  2. Two-step verification. Two-step verification utilizes two stages to affirm the identity of an individual trying to gain access to a database. The extra identification step makes it harder for hackers to access your database.
  3. Clear policies for public WiFi use. WiFi networks are frequently insecure and bugs like Heartbleed compound the problem. Make sure your WiFi policies are clearly laid out and your WiFi networks are secured to keep your employees and outsiders from accidentally making your private data public.
  4. Security staff. Consider hiring someone whose specific job is cybersecurity. As more and more information is stored online, there will be more and more individuals trying to steal it. Hire an expert to keep an eye on your data and make sure you are protected at all times.
  5. Up-to-date software. Make sure to update all of the software your business uses including operating systems, web browsers, and collaborative software. Newer versions of software are more likely to have patches for known bugs and security holes. Keep your software up-to-date to keep your data safe.

No one can predict when the next Heartbleed will strike, but it is possible to be prepared. Follow the steps above, and keep your data safe.

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