There are several reasons why small businesses are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks; lack of awareness, time, and budget, a dearth of expertise and employee training, using outdated security programs, and failing to secure endpoints being the most important ones. To avoid being a victim of cybercrime, small business owners can implement the following best practices:
Use a Robust Firewall
The first step you should take to deter a cyber attack on your small business is to set up a firewall. The purpose of a firewall is to prevent private networks connected to the internet from being accessed by unauthorized users. All communications entering or leaving the local network to which you are connected are examined and those that do not meet the security criteria specified are blocked. Employees working from remote locations should install firewalls in their home computers as well.
Impose Safe Password Usage
A study conducted by Verizon in 2016 concluded that as many as 63% of data breaches were caused by weak, lost, or stolen passwords. Not enforcing a password policy is also common to 65% of small and medium businesses, according to another study. To prevent unauthorized access to a computer system, the user must implement a strong password comprising a random and long series of alphabets in upper and lower case, numerals, special and characters. Changing the password every two to three months is recommended.
Take Data Backups Regularly
Despite taking all cyber-safety precautions, your business network could still be breached. To minimize the loss, you should make it a practice to back up all your data at periodic intervals. A good data backup plan will ensure that you can keep operating despite any exigency ranging from cyber attacks to floods and fires that may destroy your physical IT infrastructure. Best practices include backing up in a physically separate location or even the cloud. The backup should be checked regularly to ensure it can be used to restore data when needed and is not corrupted, warns Ram Duriseti.
Use Anti-Malware Software
Since phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common, employees can click on a phishing email by mistake that leads to malware being downloaded and installed on all network devices. By installing antimalware software, you can help to prevent phishing attacks. Resist the temptation to go in for free antimalware software and instead opt for the priced versions for more advanced protection.
Undertake Employee Sensitization
Even the best of cyber-defense tactics will not be of much use if employees are not fully aware of the consequences of being at the receiving end of cyberattacks. They need to also know how to recognize potentially hazardous situations, the importance of following cybersecurity instructions, as well as what to do if they suspect that their systems have been breached. Ensure all employees are kept updated on the security threats and protocols.
Hackers can enter your computer network through outdated applications with known vulnerabilities. Ensure your representatives know to install software updates and fixes for applications and operating systems when they’re accessible.
Virtual Private Networks
VPNs can go far toward making sure about your organization’s data. Virtual private systems encrypt all traffic leaving and entering your gadgets. On the off chance that somebody some way or another figure out how to block your data, all they will have is scrambled information.
Secure Your Mobile Infrastructure
The days of cell phones being protected from hackers are a distant memory. Numerous hackers presently consider workers’ cell phones as an extraordinary method to get into the general infrastructure of your company. Having a cell phone strategy and security measures is particularly significant for organizations that permit far remote work.
You should remember the entirety of your wearable gadgets for your security strategy too. On the off chance that your workers wear wellness trackers or smartwatches that are associated with your foundation, you should secure them too. Hackers realize how to misuse even the littlest opening in your security, so ensure that you don’t allow it!
Backing Up Data On a Regular Basis
Yes, backing up your information all the time will assist with guaranteeing the security of your company in the digital world. This may appear to be a conspicuous tip, yet you may be astounded by what number of individuals disregard it. It is additionally one of the most economical cybersecurity insurances that you can take.
Ensure that your reinforcement information is put away in a totally isolated physical area. Reinforcement the entirety of the information that you have in the cloud too. You ought to back up the entirety of your archives, including HR documents, databases, spreadsheets, budgetary records, and records payable and receivable documents.
Cybersecurity threats change very rapidly and small business owners to be able to stay on top of the situation to effectively protect their data from being compromised. Implementing the best security practices will go a long way in addressing the ever-present threat of security breaches that can prove very costly for your business relationships.
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