9 Essential Cyber Security Measures Every Small Business Should Take
Keeping your small business protected from cyber threats is crucial. A cybersecurity incident can impact your company in many ways, whether you're dealing with data breach fallouts, loss of trust from clients, or countless hours of downtime.
Finding ways to keep your business safe from these threats should be one of your priorities.
In this post, we'll walk you through the nine cybersecurity tips and best practices to remember for your business:
1. Install encryption software
If you're regularly dealing with data involving bank accounts, credit cards, and social security numbers, it makes sense that you have the right encryption program. Encryption keeps your data safe by altering information into unreadable codes.
Even if your data gets stolen, hackers still don't have the keys to decrypt the data and read the information. It's an excellent security feature, especially now that we live in a world where billions of data get exposed every month.
2. Invest in a VPN for remote workers
Do you have employees who are working remotely? Well, this can pose a security risk as well. According to research, 41% of remote workers access sensitive data using unsecured apps and devices.
One of the best ways to remedy this situation is to invest in a VPN. A VPN is one of the best cybersecurity measures for a business with remote workers.
What's more, is that it's relatively simple to implement. Once implemented, you'll have that extra layer of security for your remote workers and their devices.
3. Limit the use of external devices on your Wi-Fi network
If you're one of those businesses that allow employees to bring their laptops to work or connect their phones to your company Wi-Fi, there's a high chance that the malware that's already in their phones can get to your network.
So, make sure that every device that connects with your network follows cybersecurity protocols like the computers in your office. To ensure that no one gets to your system, only allow selected devices to connect to your network.
4. Have a comprehensive backup system
One of the simplest and most important things you can do is to ensure that you regularly back up your data in a secure location. If the worse happens to your network, and if a cyberattack compromises it, you won't lose your data.
There are two ways that you can back up data. The first is using a physical drive like a portable SSD or USB stick, and the other one is a cloud storage solution.
5. Keep software up to date
Another important thing you need to do is invest in high-quality security software that will protect your business devices from all kinds of malware and viruses and keep your software up to date.
Also, remember to turn on the spam filter on your computer. That way, you can block any unwanted spam or phishing emails. You should also keep track of the software and any security flaws you have exposed.
6. Use better passwords and multi-factor authentication
Another way to enhance your business's cybersecurity is to enable multi-factor authentication for all of your accounts.
Turning on multi-factor authentication provides added security to every account by requiring employees to confirm their identity before accessing it. Usually, this verification method will send a one-time code to an email or the user's mobile device.
By enabling multi-factor authentication and strong passwords, you can significantly enhance the security of your business. As a result, cybercriminals will have a hard time hacking into your accounts and accessing sensitive information.
7. Use a firewall and antivirus software
Your firewall is like your digital shield. It prevents malicious software and traffic from reaching your network. While there are a lot of firewalls, they usually fall between two broad categories- hardware or software.
There are also firewalls with virus scanning capabilities. If yours doesn't, make sure that you install antivirus software that will scan your computer and get rid of any malware that has made it through your firewall.
By doing so, you're able to control a data breach more efficiently, alerting you if there's an issue rather than having to look up the problem in case something goes wrong.
8. Be smart about your emails
Emails can come from various sources, especially those that come by attachments and hyperlinks. While you might have security tools to automatically get rid of suspicious items in your junk folder, this can hardly prevent possible threats.
Also, if you accidentally open a harmful attachment or follow a link, your device might unwillingly download these malicious scripts. Also, when sending emails, ensure you share the documents instead of attaching them. That's because attaching them means you're losing control.
9. Make sure your staff are fully trained
You should also ensure that your staff is fully trained to identify any malware and scams before opening a potentially dangerous email.
For instance, they might transfer a virus from their home computer to their work computer if they're using a USB device to save and share information. So ensure that you educate your staff about cybersecurity.
Over to You
So there you have it. Your cyber security needs to constantly evolve and stay up to date to ward off any sophisticated cyber attacks. No matter how big or small, every business should make cybersecurity their topmost priority. Good luck!
Juliette Anderson is an Outreach Community Specialist for an e-commerce fulfillment company that specializes in partnering with online sellers who have an average parcel weight of 5+ pounds or greater. She works hand-in-hand with e-commerce stores to achieve optimal sales for four years already. Her specialty lies in social media marketing and paid promotions.View Juliette Anderson`s profile for more