7 Tips on Improving Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
Did you know that 43 percent of all cybersecurity attacks target small businesses?
This is a staggering percentage, and to think your business could be targeted should be worrying. It could be anything from web-based attacks, phishing or malicious botnets and codes and improving cybersecurity should be a priority.
What’s more surprising is that over 70% of organizations don’t have cybersecurity response plans in place, making them vulnerable to more attacks. If there’s one thing you should know, cybercrime is one of the biggest threats your business could be facing, and you need to be prepared.
Better yet, why not protect yourself?
Why Would a Small Business Need Cyber Security?
Some small business owners feel that since they’re running a small business, hackers and cybercriminals will have no business targeting them. There’s not much to steal, right? There are plenty of large businesses out there worth spending their time on, right?
Well, the thing is, small businesses are attacked more often than large ones, and criminals obtain personal information for identity theft. The reason why criminals target small businesses is that most of them are vulnerable, making the work easier for them.
They could hack multiple small businesses and steal more files instead of targeting a secure large business. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies you can use to avoid being a victim.
You can easily do this by improving cybersecurity in your small business and safeguarding yourself. So how do you do this?
1. Implement a Robust Firewall
The first line of defense you need for cyber-attack is a firewall. A firewall is the one thing standing between your sensitive data and information and cybercriminals, and the outside world. Unauthorized individuals will have no access to your network.
A standard external firewall is recommended, but you can go the extra mile and install an internal firewall as well just to be safe. It’s imperative for your employees working from home to use the firewall as well.
2. Create and Enforce Password Practices
Who likes changing passwords? No one. However, you can’t underestimate how important strong passwords are. Strong and unique passwords should be used for all your systems.
Implement stringent password policies for all your employees and teach them how to create strong passwords. Consider using a password manager and ensure all passwords are changed after a maximum of 90 days. Explain why your policies are vitally important and enforce the policies through the right group policy settings.
3. Improve Security With Two-Factor Authentication
Technology is advancing so fast, and cybercriminals are getting clever by the day, so sometimes, passwords are just not enough. Once you input your username and passwords, you have an extra step to verify yourself. This is a piece of information that only you would know, such as a one-time code sent to you via text on the phone number attached to your account.
There is no way a hacker would get such a message, and it would be harder for them to bypass. This is one of the best ways of improving cybersecurity for your small business. Ensure that it covers all devices that login to your office, from smartphones to tablets and laptops, ensuring they are secure in case they’re stolen.
4. Train Employees on Data Breach Prevention
Most security breaches are attributed to human error, not the IT department. One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to infiltrate a network is by preying on employees that don’t recognize or understand the risks involved. Whether they go through email attachments, malware, or document downloads, an easy phishing attempt could lead to your downfall.
To prevent this from happening, teaching your employees how to avoid these mistakes is vital. There needs to be a tech protocol in the employee handbook covering all the steps involved in protecting your data and, ultimately, your business.
5. Store Customer Data in an Encrypted Database
Improving cybersecurity involves storing customer data in an encrypted database, and for very good reasons. All information containing customer information or trade secrets should be encrypted. Encryption converts information into code, preventing unauthorized access.
6. Perform Regular Vulnerability Checks
Regular vulnerability checks are essential because you’ll minimize risks and prevent breaches. You’ll also know if there has been a breach without your notice. A study found that, on average, it takes over 200 days for a company to detect a data breach, a time in which they lose thousands, if not millions of dollars, and sensitive information.
Conduct regular firewall configurations for penetration testing, software updates, and employee training to ensure they stay vigilant at all times.
You can hire an IT company to conduct these checks. What’s more, such a company will offer other technology services that suit your business. You can visit drivingoe.com to learn more.
Beyond that, you should complete data backups on hard drives or the cloud on a regular basis.
7. Have a Cyber Security Disaster Plan Ready
If there’s one thing you need to understand about improving cybersecurity, is that it’s an ongoing process. In the event of a data breach, you should have a disaster plan ready. If the breach could result in identity theft or cause harm, you should inform all your vendors and customers affected.
Bonus Point: Implement Web and Spam Filters
Phishing is the most common small business cybersecurity threats, and implementing web and spam filters is a great way to prevent it. Web filters prevent employees from visiting phishing websites or websites that may contain malware, preventing or minimizing the chances of a web-based attack.
Emails are also an easy gateway for cybercriminals. Having a spam filter will block malicious spam emails, which will prevent any phishing emails from reaching any inbox.
Improving Cybersecurity for Your Small Business
These tips will help in improving cybersecurity for your small business. Even though there’s still a chance of a breach, protection is always better. Having a plan will also go a long way in containing the situation.
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