Cybersecurity and Best Practices for Small Businesses | Contrary to popular belief, small businesses are currently the target of cybersecurity threats. When an attack occurs, large enterprises can survive, paying off the hefty fines. Small businesses, on the other hand, may be forced out of business and fail to recover.
As a small business owner, protecting your enterprise from the detrimental effects of a security breach is imperative. Not only does it save you from ligation penalties and fines, but it also helps safeguard the company’s reputation.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a practice where individuals or organizations use technologies and various resources to prevent access to sensitive information by unauthorized people. It protects computer networks and sensitive data from being intercepted by hackers.
Cybersecurity is an essential practice for any company, large or small. Considering that hackers are leveraging the benefits of technology to improve their breaching tactics, small business entrepreneurs must take the necessary actions to minimize the chances of falling victims to such attacks.
Best cybersecurity practices to minimize potential attacks
- Conduct audits
Scheduling a compromise assessment is your first line of defense against the harmful impact of a cyberattack. What cybersecurity auditors do is take an in-depth look at your company’s current security protocols and gauge the risk level a potential attack can have on your organization. They seek to uncover the strengths and weaknesses in your security system, as well as determine the extent of damage is any employee is to perform corporate espionage. After identifying your network’s vulnerability, the auditors suggest better ways to maintain safety.
To ensure the company’s security is at its peak, small business entrepreneurs need to conduct a cybersecurity audit at least once or twice a year.
- Good password management
We live in a digital era where the number of applications we need to use every day is on a steady incline. To improve customer experience, companies and websites are creating applications to help facilitate swift access to services. All these applications need the user to login with a unique username and password.
Unfortunately, not many people can cram more than three passwords to use on their social media and other platforms. As a result, users will re-use a password on several applications, which only puts themselves and the company in danger. These repetitive and weak passwords are a loophole hackers use to gain access to data on our computers.However, it is only by practicing good password management that small businesses can minimize the chances of attacks.
Various applications allow internet users to generate strong unique passwords. There is an option to save your password, allowing you to automatically input your credentials and log in instantly. In case of a possible security breach, the applications will ask you to update the passwords for stronger security.
- Be quick to identify phishing scams
Phishing scams are common and one of the easiest ways hackers can trick people to gain access to personal information. They come in the form of e-mails and text messages. For this reason, educating your employees on how to detect phishing scams is vital.
Phishing scams seem like emails from reputable brands like banks or online stores. These emails are meant to get you to click on a link or open a downloadable attachment. Once you open or click on the link, the hackers gain access to personal information that they may use to perform crimes such as identity theft and to spoof the companies.
So, to safeguard your company, teach your employees how to protect themselves from such scams.In case they receive an email that asks them to upgrade their subscriptions or input their personal information, they should first confirm its legitimacy. Also, they need to use multi-factor authentication to log on to their e-mail or other accounts. Regularly updating their computer’s security software is another way that employees can help in the fight against phishing scams.
- Invest in proper security systems
The importance of investing in proper security systems for your small business cannot be over-emphasized. To protect the office network from viruses and other malware, a company needs to install anti-malware software on all the computers.
Additionally, firewalls help block unauthorized people from accessing your company’s network. They are an effective tool used to keep hackers at bay and are instrumental in ensuring the overall security of data and other information in your company.
- Secure your wireless network
The whole essence of having a Wi-Fi connection at the workplace is to facilitate the transfer of data. Unfortunately, anyone in the proximity may try to intercept the network. To prevent this from happening, make sure your company’s wireless network is secure. Protect it using a strong password and encrypt it.
Also, make sure you hide your wireless network’s ID so that it does not broadcast publicly. If you offer internet access to your customers, make certain that you are using a different wireless network.That way, unauthorized persons cannot retrieve any data.
- Safely dispose of unwanted computers
There comes a time when a company may need to upgrade their computers. Before donating disposing of them, verify that you have deleted all the valuable information on the hard disk. Format the hard disk and destroy it through incineration. If you are not sure how to dispose of them, you can seek the services of a company that will help you get rid of them safely.
From the few published data security breaches, you may be fooled by the seriousness of the matter. Cybersecurity is a menace to society and hackers are wreaking havoc on small businesses. Unfortunately, there have been many reports of multiple breaches on various companies. That means that some companies do not understand the magnitude of these threats and do not put the necessary measures to ensure the safety of company sensitive information.
By implementing the best practices mentioned above, you strategically position yourself to protect your small company from security threats that may not only damage your company’s reputation but also lead to its downfall.