Cybersecurity is vital for small businesses. Protecting your data and your customers will keep you competitive and help your business grow.
Information technology, such as Wi-Fi access points and broadband connections, is indispensable for companies of all sizes.
However, the right security measures are crucial for small business owners with a tight budget, as cyber-attacks and threats can come from a broad range of sources.
A good cybersecurity plan can keep your business and its customer information safe.
Table of Contents
- 1 Employee Training
- 2 Computer & Software Updates
- 3 Firewall
- 4 Backup
- 5 Access Control
- 6 Wi-Fi Security
- 7 Strong Passwords with MFA
- 8 Education and Policy
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions:
Security is always a concern. Prepare your employees to keep important information safe and secure. Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as strong passwords, and set appropriate Internet use guidelines. IT should also outline precise procedures for handling and protecting vital customer information and other critical data.
Computer & Software Updates
A clean computer is not just a good defense against online threats; it’s essential if you want your business to succeed online. Make sure your computers are running the latest software and have all the necessary updates installed at all times.
Updating as soon as possible is the best way to protect your organization from online threats such as viruses and hacking attacks.
A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to your network while protecting your data. While operating systems ship with built-in firewall software, you have to make sure it is enabled and properly configured.
Firewalls help secure data and make your company more secure from viruses, malware, and identity theft.
If employees work from home, make sure a firewall or VPN protects their home computers as well.
The smartest move a business can make is to backup all the critical data in as many locations as possible.
Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files.
Backup data automatically and store the copies either offsite or in the cloud.
Lock the doors. Prevent unauthorized access to your computer system. If your building lacks the necessary security, criminals may gain access and damage a system or steal sensitive information.
Laptops can also be an easy target for thieves. If you leave them in your office unattended or let your employees take them home, they can get stolen or lost, and your data may be compromised.
Make sure you have a robust authentication process in place, and sensitive data is encrypted.
If you’re running a Wi-Fi network in your office, make sure it is secure, encrypted, and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID).
Use the highest encryption possible and frequently update your wireless device firmware.
Strong Passwords with MFA
This is an easy fix that can have a significant effect. Require employees to use strong, unique passwords and change passwords every 1-2 months.
Multi-factor authentication can be an excellent, additional step to secure your accounts. When it comes to sensitive data, it is crucial to verify that your vendors offer multi-factor authentication to ensure your sensitive data is protected.
Education and Policy
No amount of technology can completely protect your network; hackers can always find holes in a system. It would be best if you had educated staff who appreciate the importance of cybersecurity, trained to be helpful, and work as part of a team.
Educating your staff about online threats gives them a chance to be the first line of defense against those threats.
The complex world of information technology does not have to be overwhelming. While the basic safety recommendations above are tried-and-true methods, it is worth contacting a local IT company that can simplify all aspects of your technology environment — saving time and energy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do hackers target small businesses?
Even if you think your company is off the beaten path and not worth the trouble, hackers, cybercriminals, and internet scammers are coming after you, too. If you’re a small company, you’re just as vulnerable as your corporate peers, according to the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon. And the data tells us that hackers are increasingly targeting smaller organizations. Since most of these companies are online, they have valuable data and have fewer resources to dedicate to information security than their corporate competitors.
Why do small businesses need cybersecurity?
With cybercrime becoming more prevalent, small business owners need to understand the importance of cybersecurity. As a small business owner, it’s up to you to protect your company’s data and information from malicious software and security threats – although, with the right support, this won’t be too hard to do. With the large number of cybercrimes that occur each year, small business owners need to know what type of cyberattacks they are vulnerable to and how they can protect themselves and their business data from these threats.
What to do after a cybersecurity breach?
If you have sound IT security and disaster recovery plan in place, hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with this. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to recovering from a severe cybersecurity breach. It’s usually a long and complicated process. In some cases, this might involve rebuilding your network from the ground up or switching to new software. Still, it should always include a thorough review of your security practices, a complete investigation of the incident, and a detailed report that documents what happened.
FTC Cyber Security Basics:
- What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Cybersecurity
- 3 Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Facing Small Businesses Right Now