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9 Key Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

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A survey found that about 88% of small businesses feel they are a step closer to being victims of a cyberattack. Yet, most of these businesses lack the resources for preventing cyberattacks that big corporations boast of. So, should you just sit by and wait for hackers to have a field day stealing your data?

Nobody wants to do that. Fortunately, there are pretty simple but effective cybersecurity tips that you can use to protect your business from hackers. These methods are cost-effective and easy to implement.

These nine tips will help you improve cybersecurity in your business.

1. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

If there’s anything that a hacker loves, it’s public Wi-Fi. Examples of public Wi-Fi include Wi-Fi networks in airports, city parks, public transport, and cafes. A common feature of this network is that it doesn’t require a password for anyone to access it.

If you have employees working on the go, discourage them from using public Wi-Fi to access the business. You are never sure of which firewalls these networks use. Further, you don’t have control over this network which makes it impossible to control the activities taking place in them.

Hackers love public Wi-Fi because it’s easier for them to infiltrate even highly secured ones on the network.

2. Invest in a VPN

VPN is the short form for a Virtual Private Network. VPNs add an extra layer of protection to your data, especially when using public Wi-Fi to access your organization’s network.

VPNs come in handy when your employees use different networks to access your network from remote locations. You are never sure about the level of security that your remote employees’ network offer against potential threat. So it’s better to be safe than sorry by installing a VPN.

3. Update Your Software: One of the Underrated Cybersecurity Tips

They say that you don’t need to fix it if it’s not broken. However, following this mantra regarding cybersecurity matters can bring untold anguish. Software developers release updates periodically, encouraging you to install these updates.

Software updates take care of security flaws present in the previous versions of the software. Hackers tend to look for these flaws to exploit them to their advantage.

If you keep pushing the “remind me later” button when your software requests an update, you invite all kinds of threats to your business. Just because the software still runs without an update doesn’t mean you are safe.

4. Train Your Employees on IT Matters

Your business is as strong as the weakest link it has in the operations. If you are looking to improve cybersecurity, make sure you train all employees on how to stay safe. Teach them the types of cyberattacks and how to spot them.

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated each day. They invent new ways of getting valuable information such as passwords from unsuspecting employees. Making your staff aware of these practices makes it easier to thwart a potential attack earlier enough.

5. Firewalls and Anti-Virus Protection

These two are crucial for business IT support, and there’s no excuse as to why you shouldn’t have either of them. Anti-virus helps in detecting threats in your network and devices. It neutralizes any threat before it escalates after detecting it.

The firewall is a network within your network. It sifts through all the incoming and outgoing traffic within your network. The firewall protects by blocking any suspicious traffic from getting into your network to launch a potential attack.

Anti-virus and firewall protection come at a small fee. The value that the two offer is way more than what you incur to acquire them.

6. The Multi-Factor Authentication

This login process sends a one-time passcode to another device once you provide a password to access any part of your network. The second passcode may come via a text message or an email. Multi-factor authentication makes it almost impossible for people to breach your network even if they have your password.

To paint a picture of how this works, consider yourself trying to access your email. Normally, once you enter your password, the email account is supposed to let you in.

With multi-factor authentication, you’ll get another notification on your phone asking you to confirm whether you want to log in. If an unwanted party is trying to gain access, you can block them using your phone.

7. Backup Your Data

There isn’t a guarantee that any system or software can completely prevent hackers from your network. It would be best to prepare for the worst-case scenario by backing up the critical data. A backup will save you from blackmails or unwarranted disruptions in case of a successful attack on your business.

There are a lot of platforms that provide cloud backup services for businesses. You could also use external hardware to store business information if you don’t have a large trove of data.

8. Secure Your Network

Securing the business network is easy as it entails changing its name. Use any other name apart from the business name for the network. Hackers will have a hard time figuring out what the network represents when you deploy this tactic.

Securing your network also involves creating a password for the network. Go for strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess. Avoid using your birthday, pet’s name, and other obvious phrases as your password. Don’t use the same passwords for different networks.

9. Give Freeware a Wide Berth

Small businesses have limited resources. Understandably, most owners wouldn’t think twice about using the free software they find on the internet. Freeware can be dangerous because hackers may embed malware in them.

Work with software from reputable brands with a proven track record. The initial investment might dig into your pocket. But it will be worth it in the long run.

Keep Your Business Safe

Cybersecurity for businesses is no longer negotiable because of the increasing threats. Hackers continue to target small businesses because they are vulnerable.

Implementing the above cybersecurity tips can minimize and protect your business from imminent threats. For more informative articles, browse through the website.

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