Like any physical or financial asset your company has, online assets are virtual properties that, in 2022, might hold more value than physical ones. Compared to physical assets, there are certain online assets that you can’t ever match values of if stolen or destroyed—like brand reputation.
Let’s look at some online assets that you should hold quite dear to your company.
Business procedure photos or marketing photos that you’ve generated are digital assets. They can either be sold or used to create promotional mediums that can generate revenue for you. A professionally created image is expensive. You’ve paid to have your photos generated either by your time or money.
Websites, blogs, and other types of content that were uploaded and marketed are valuable online assets that you should protect. Although you can recreate the material, you will never get back the financial value it generates. A piece of online content, even if it’s regenerated by you, doesn’t hold similar value as a mature one.
Your social media accounts, audience interaction, and brand image can’t be regained if tarnished. The major compromising element for online presence is planned DoS or DDoS attacks.
Patents are more physical than online assets. But they do have an online presence. Protecting your parents from being stolen and being filed as the property of someone else should be prevented.
Trademarked and copyrighted material that exists online should be preserved safely for future usage. Copyrighted materials are for your own usage and no one should be allowed to use it without your consent.
Your customer data might be the most important online asset for your company. From marketing to sales reports, having ample data is essential to scale your operations and sustain them.
How to Secure Online Assets
Having online assets and securing them are two distinct things. Here are 7 ways you can secure your online assets.
1. List the Assets
Without a comprehensive list, you can’t even start to protect your online assets. Take guidance from the list above, but be mindful to include your own. Take every valuable asset that’s on the internet or on your servers into consideration.
You need to consider all the things that your business owns or can be sold to third parties. Think of it this way: if your business was to be sold, which assets the buyer would like to give value to. Consider adding them to your list.
2. Secure Company Network
Online assets are prone to stealing as physical assets. Hackers breach the servers through vulnerabilities and loopholes that aren’t patched by the cybersecurity team. Apart from employing OT Cyber Security Services by Industrial Defender, keeping yourself updated about the latest cybersecurity updates and certificates will be beneficial to protecting your online assets.
Patching the database and servers for vulnerabilities is only the tip of the iceberg. Your online assets become far more vulnerable if your employees aren’t trained about phishing emails and insecure Wi-Fi. In a phishing attempt, the hackers try to make you click a malicious link by mailing lucrative offers that don’t exist. They gain access to your servers through the links and can harm your online assets.
3. Limit Access
Not every employee of your company needs to have access to your online assets at the same time. Not even you need to have access to all of it at any given time. Consider limiting access to you and your employees to minimize the risks of being compromised.
Restricting individual access might not be possible if you are not a huge corporation and the job roles are not clearly defined. In easy terms, if your employees need to collaborate on different things on a daily basis, restricting access might be a bad idea. Developing policies that discourage employees to access assets that aren’t important to them could be the smartest alternative.
4. Consider Insurance
Cyber insurance can prove to be a great measure for protecting your online assets. The insurance providers pay the agreed sum for the online assets that you paid a premium for in case of unauthorized access and stealing.
Although with insurance you can get back a huge fraction of the amount you lost, some online assets are irreplaceable and can’t ever be evaluated on monetary standards.
5. Create Agreement
Even unauthorized leaking of your new video content can be alluded to as stealing online assets. Often the customers and employees—who are in direct proximity to the assets—are the ones compromising it. A non-disclosure agreement that binds your clients, vendors, and employees legally can be quite effective to keep your online assets safe.
Although an agreement is futile in the case of a cyber attacker trying to get their hands on your assets, it keeps the known threats away from harming you intentionally or unintentionally.
6. Register Ownership
Register your ownership with trademarks and copyrights wherever possible. You can copyright almost any online assets that you have including brand names and product images. Copyrighting an asset ensures that even if someone gets their hands on any proprietary asset, they can’t use it without your permission.
Intellectual content like blogs, websites, social media posts can also be copyrighted and preserved. Your parents are also your intellectual property. Don’t forget to copyright them if that’s what you want.
For instance, KFC has a lot of copyrighted online assets in their name including the secret recipe. But apart from that, they have several patents for the process involving the deep fryers used to prepare the chickens. Even if you knew the design of their fryers, you can’t use them commercially to prepare your chickens.
7. Make Backups
Always rely on backups. As most cyberattacks are targeted to destroy your assets, you are safer this way. A regular backup of online assets mentioned above can prove to be beneficial if a destructive attack is prevalent upon you.
The Bottom Line
Online assets are becoming quite important for businesses going forward. Images, data, patents, and marketing materials hold exceptional value to a business. To safeguard your interest by securing your online assets, you must make regular backups, secure your networks, and limit access to the online assets.