Cybersecurity Tips For Small Business Owners
Large companies have been the target of cybercrimes for a long time. However, recently, cybercriminals have turned their attention towards small enterprises as well. Since companies, regardless of their size hold and process large volumes of data, small businesses have also become tempting for hackers. Because of this reason, small business owners can’t afford to take their online security lightly. But thanks to all the advice shared by professionals, entrepreneurs can always improve the way they treat and prevent similar matters. Below are some of the most efficient tips and tricks that will help them prevent such attempts.
All your employees should be properly trained when it comes to online security matters. Enforcing a culture of cybersecurity among your employees is one of the easiest ways to be sure everybody in your company is using the Internet mindfully and securely. Invest in proper cybersecurity training programs and make sure they cover a wide array of topics, from password creation protocols to safe browsing and how to boost the security of their mobile devices. Your employees should also learn how to handle sensitive data and how to avoid phishing attacks. Simulations have been proven to work amazingly, for all the purposes described above.
Multiple-step authentication processes
Multi-step authentication protocols involve a password and at least another way to check the user’s identity. This authentication method becomes incredibly useful when long in credentials are compromised. For instance, a text message sent to the account’s owner will become decisive in similar situations. Everybody in your company should have to use multi-factor authentication to avoid hacking attempts.
Firewalls are valuable assets for companies of all sizes. This is a system that keeps the internal company network protected from the outside network. Firewalls work amazingly to keep unauthorized users to gain access to your company network, and these keep all your sensitive data protected.
But like all things in life, not all similar systems are created equal. Some are better than others, and experts recommend investing in next-generation firewalls.
Design and implement company-wide password policies
All enterprises, no matter their size, should implement rigid password policies. Train your employees appropriately and teach them how to create strong passwords for all the systems and programs they use. A good starting point would be to teach them to create long passwords that include both lower case and upper-case letters, numbers and symbols. Because it would be difficult for your employees to remember all those passwords without writing them down (big security threat), make sure you invest in password managers. Hire a team to help you with similar matters. Consultancy plays a crucial role here.
Frequent software updates
All the software you use should be continuously updated. This will allow your employees to make the most of it, but it will also boost your establishment’s security standards. Software updates are simply packages released by the vendor to fill in gaps and fix system vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered. And we have some news for you: if the vendor’s team was able to find those vulnerabilities, so are hackers.
This is why you want to have all your software and firmware up to date and even schedule the updates needed. A similar move will save you a lot of time and resources.
Backup all crucial data
Like all companies today, your small business has access to a lot of valuable data. Because you don’t want to lose it on a whim, make sure you design a spotless backup policy. In the event of a malware or ransomware attack, a good backup policy will allow you to gain access to all the important information your company holds.
Apart from tailoring a backup policy that works, test if you can easily recover the data in the event of a similar attack. Implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy. Backup data in three copies, on two different mediums and one copy stored outside of the company.
Network segmentation has always been a great idea
Apart from boosting network performance, network segmentation is also proven to boost overall security. But how does network segmentation help companies limit cybercrime damage? Simply put, if a segment of the network is compromised, it limits the damage to said segment, and keeps cybercriminals away from the rest of the internal network.
Apart from this, you should make sure you limit your employees’ access to sensitive data and apply the rule of least privilege.
Ideally, run a free background check on all your third-party collaborators and business partners. With the information provided by these engines, decide if they can be trusted with your company’s data and information.
Secure all Wi-Fi networks
All Wi-Fi networks must be protected, but especially business ones. So, apart from enforcing the advice above, business owners must also make sure they secure internal Wi-Fi networks. Besides, you should make sure that all data is properly encrypted, hidden and that you also change default passwords of your Wi-Fi systems. This way, they cannot be accessed from the outside, making your venture more resilient to cyber threats. To make sure all data is encrypted as it should use at least WPA2 encryption protocols if you can’t implement WPA3.
Web filters do their fair share of work
Although network security is important in all companies, many business owners overlook how relevant web security is. Web-based cyber attacks are more than common today, and your company can fall victim to a similar attempt when one of your employees visits shady websites. A web filter will help you protect your company, even in remote workers’ case. Similar systems will block malware downloads, and they keep users from accessing shady, dangerous platforms.
No matter the size of your business, keep it safe online by following the advice above. Of course, you can do your extended research and find out other incredible cybersecurity tips and tricks. But, as a rule of thumb, you should ensure all employees are properly trained in online security matters.