Essential cybersecurity practices for your small business
Is your business properly protected from cyber attacks? Find out what cybersecurity precautions you need to take.
As a small business owner, you have to wear many hats. You have to understand the basics of marketing, production, human resources, and of course – customer service. In today’s tech-forward world, it’s also essential to understand the best practices for cybersecurity.
Hackers aren’t strictly targeting major corporations. In fact, they might be more likely to go after small businesses that don’t have the security resources or IT tech support. About 46% of all cybersecurity breaches impact businesses with fewer than 1000 employees. So, what can you do to protect yourself and your business?
Thankfully, you don’t have to become a tech guru overnight. There are things you can do immediately to make your network and your business more secure, so your sensitive information and important financial data aren’t compromised.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common cyber risks for small businesses, and what you can do to reduce the risk of an attack.
Common cybersecurity risks
The more you know about some of the common scams, threats, and viruses circulating nowadays, the easier it will be to safeguard your business against them.
Some of the most common threats facing businesses today include phishing scams, malware, ransomware, and SPAM. These can come from everything from websites that aren’t secure to text messages and emails with links that could send a virus into your network.
Unfortunately, you also have to be aware of potential threats from within. It’s not easy to think about insider threats, especially when you only have a few employees and everyone is close. However, it happens more often than you might think. Insider threats include:
- Careless employees who fall for phishing scams
- Employees who don’t follow best practices for cybersecurity
- Disgruntled employees looking to damage your company from within
It’s essential to make sure your employees know just as much about cybersecurity risks as you. We’ll touch on that a bit more later. What’s more important, however, is building trust with the people who work for you and understanding how they’re feeling.
Make sure you keep your finger on the pulse of your workplace environment to keep yourself aware of anyone who might be feeling bitter or disgruntled – including recently-terminated employees. If someone gets fired or resigns from their position, have an offboarding process in place, and consider changing network and software passwords so they no longer have access after they leave.
How to protect your business from cyber attacks
Unfortunately, no business is 100% immune from a potential cyber attack. That’s why major corporations still experience occasional data breaches. They have some of the most sophisticated technology and security in the world, and hackers still find a way in.
However, don’t let that deter you. The more security measures you put in place, the less your chance of getting hacked.
Outsource IT help
If you have the resources, consider outsourcing an IT professional or a team that can maintain strong cybersecurity practices. Reach out to local services that can provide you with extra protection, so you can focus on keeping your team productive without having to worry about data loss.
Use automation software
If you’re not able to use professional services, you can still protect yourself and your network in a variety of ways. Things like automation software and password-protected cloud-based services are both great ways to protect your data. You should also implement other tech solutions that protect and boost your business, such as:
- Enabling firewall security for your Internet connection
- Using password managers
- Securing your Wi-Fi networks
- Updating your antivirus software
- Placing access control limitations in place
Make sure your employees are up to date
Finally, make sure your employees are up-to-date on these practices, too. Consider making cybersecurity training a part of your onboarding process, and provide consistent training as methods change.
The more you educate yourself, the more you can protect your business
When you pour everything you have into a small business, the idea of a cybersecurity breach can feel overwhelming and frightening.
However, the more you educate yourself on cybercrimes and the more protective measures you put in place, the less likely it will be for your business to get attacked. You’re already juggling a lot of plates, but this one is essential to add to the mix.