Did you think your small business is small enough to be safe? Think again! Small and medium-sized businesses are not under the cybercriminal radar. In fact, they are fairly common targets. And there’s the fact that many cannot afford the hardware, software, and teams dedicated to security. After all, small businesses try to be as lean as possible. They fight to shave off their expenditures, whether their payroll or from Optimum pay bill. Most don’t even have formal cyber security policies.
That’s just the nature of small businesses. And you can be sure cybercriminals are aware of it. Don’t expect them to go easy on you just because you have smaller profit margins. Moreover, recovering from a cyberattack may prove impossible, even for large businesses. Therefore, start preparing now, before something catastrophic happens.
Assess Your Current Security Situation
The very first step is to examine your current state in the context of cybersecurity. You may well be running a business that already has great security practices. In such cases, you may have to make little to no adjustments to the way things are done. However, you may also notice certain serious flaws in your cybersecurity policy that need attention. In some cases, you may not have a cybersecurity policy at all. All businesses are different. Therefore, identifying specific flaws will require specific attention. However, as a general rule, there are several good security practices you can implement right away.
Enable Automatic Software Updates
Outdated software is a big security flag. Software companies include security measures within the system that people use, especially in the business world. Very often, their reputation depends on offering software services that are safe and secure. However, cyber threats are fluid and continue to evolve. New types of attacks and scams emerge frequently. To keep up, software companies release periodic updates that beef up security and remove loopholes.
You may continue to use older versions of software without updates. But the software may no longer remain safe from attacks. Loopholes can emerge simply as a result of obsolete software. And you can’t always ensure everyone updates their devices and software. Enabling automatic updates, however, is a simple step to resolve this problem.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication on Everything
Having unique and strong passwords is almost common sense now. But a single layer of security does not make sense anymore. Breaking a password through brute force or even phishing is not impossible. And without secondary authentication, you could end up losing crucial business information or accounts. Multiple security layers, on the other hand, add stronger protection. This can include sending texts to the user’s phone with a one-time code. Or it can even include biometric verification.
The point is, every time a new device tries to login it triggers the MFA. That way you’re protected, even if a hacker or phisher has the right login details. Without secondary or tertiary authentication, they will not be able to access the account or information on it. Moreover, you will get notifications every time a suspicious login attempt happens.
Get Your Employees Onboard
None of your efforts matter if your workers don’t take cybersecurity closely. It takes just a single lapse in judgment to allow a cyberattack to succeed. Clicking on a suspicious link, having a weak password, or downloading freeware. It only takes a single action by a single employee to open up vulnerabilities to cybercriminals. Therefore, if you want your business security to improve, you need to communicate it to your employees. Explain to them the value of good security practices. Make sure they understand the risks of cybercrimes and what preventive measures to employ. And if you can, invest in regular cybersecurity training.
Create Remote Backups for Sensitive Data
Despite all your best efforts, you may still become the victim of a data breach. Obviously, a cyberattack will always have an impact on your business. That is a simple fact. But there may still be ways to recover from all the damage. Backing up data is standard business practice. However, a single backup will usually not be enough. If it is stored locally, you can count on it being compromised by ransomware or other malware attacks. But a remote backup may give you a chance to recover. Create multiple remote backups, whether on a cloud server or in a separate location.