Cyber-attacks do not discriminate when it comes to industry, no matter the size of your company. Even though data breaches in corporations and government agencies tend to be highlighted, the truth is that small business is at the top of the list. Small businesses are generally under-protected, often because of the “idea” that they can’t afford the same level of protection as large corporations. Adequate computer security is not beyond reach. We’ve narrowed down five cybersecurity tips that can benefit any small business owner.
Secure Your Networks
Safeguard your internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information. We all have our days when working in the office just doesn’t seem as productive, so you decide to go to a local coffee shop instead. As accommodating as it may be to connect to the free Wi-Fi network they offer, this can be detrimental to the safety of your business. Connecting to an unsecured network gives hackers an open door to your systems. Invest in a portable hotspot and make sure you have a Wi-Fi network that is secure and hidden. This will prevent the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID) from being broadcast.
Improve Password Protection and Change Them Often
Implementing passwords to protect computer networks is a “no-brainer” but if you want to make the most of your password protection it’s important to observe more than the estranged number and letter sequences. Consider enforcing multifactor authentication that requires additional information besides a single password to gain entry. Prompt your systems to have these password requirements to change often. Keeping your data safe is what matters.
Monitor Personal Devices Used by Employees
You may not have the capital to provide your employees with devices like laptops, smartphone, and tablets, so you move on to what is feasible; letting employees use their personal devices to access company data and systems. If so, do not hesitate to implement policies that grant your network administrator access to install automatic security updates, monitoring software, and routine password changes. Rest assured, that invading personal privacy is not necessary, but protecting your business is the priority.
Limit Data Access
Monitoring each employee’s cyber interactions can be time-consuming and invading in some cases. To avoid some of the trouble of checking cyber interactions, establish policies giving guidelines on how employees should protect identifiable information and other sensitive data. This includes limiting access to select information and adding layered security that requires additional passwords, encryption, security questions, etc. Be sure that consequences are clearly understood by your employees if they disregard your business’s cybersecurity policies. Establishing layered security can also help keep vital data safe if your system falls victim to a breach.
Hold Employees Accountable
Running a business, you know how stiff competition can be. Competitors could be lurking at every corner. Educate your employees about cyber threats and how to protect your businesses data. Social media can be an amazing tool to generate leads and customers, but it’s imperative to know how to introduce insights without becoming a target for hackers. Employees should be informed about how to successfully post online without disclosing any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses. This may seem like a lower-end issue, but holding your employees accountable to your internet security policies and procedures can make all the difference.
No matter how big or small, the nature of your business may attract more than what you bargain for; you don’t work as hard as you do for your business to fall victim to cyber-attacks! Cybersecurity readiness goes beyond just having a firewall or antivirus program. With the right precautions, adequate computer security is not beyond reach.