Small and medium businesses are the ones that are affected by cyber threats the most. Around 43% of cyber-attacks revolve around them. And you know what is scarier? 47% of businesses don’t have any idea how to prevent the rising number of cyber-attacks. That’s unfortunately true. Maybe it’s because of fewer resources or maybe it’s just the lack of knowledge. Whatever the reason is, the need of the hour is to take action and fortify cybersecurity. It’s now or never!
How to Secure Your Business from a Potential Cyberattack?
Below, we have discussed a few strategies that will help you fortify your company’s cybersecurity. Please have a look.
- Train Your Teammates
Your colleagues are the backbone of your business, so inform them about your cybersecurity practices. Whether it’s creating strong passwords or establishing appropriate Internet usage guidelines, your teammates should be familiar with your organization’s cybersecurity policies. Most system infiltrations are an outcome of poor decisions and human errors, not brute-force hacking. Here, the most important things you can do include:
- Spending more time teaching your teammates about common schemes.
- Educating them on the best cybersecurity practices, such as handing customer information and recognizing phishing scams.
- Bringing together senior members and the board of directors to train your teammates.
- Back-Up Your Business Data
Regularly backing up your critical business data is a sure-fire way to promote cybersecurity. This strategy will not only help you manage ransomware attacks, but also natural disasters and other events that might restrict your ability to access the original data. From your electronic spreadsheets to databases, financial files to HR documents, create backup copies for everything. Make sure you store these copies either offsite or in the cloud.
- Invest in Firewalls
Firewalls act as your business’s defence lines if you implement them properly. They are a set of related programs that prevent hackers from accessing your vital information on a private network. A firewall secures your Internet connection and creates a barrier between your data and cybercriminals. Along with the standard external firewall, you can also install internal firewalls to provide additional cybersecurity. Additionally, it would be better if you could provide firewall support to your colleagues working from home.
- Create a Plan for Mobile Devices
Protecting business assets is one of the biggest challenges small and medium-sized businesses face these days. Take mobile phones for instance: They can impose cyber threats when they are used for storing confidential business data. So, protect mobile devices with strong passwords, security apps, and data encryption. Include these devices in a robust cybersecurity policy like reporting procedures for lost or stolen mobile phones.
- Focus on Cloud Security
Any small or medium business that is using cloud storage for sensitive data should be encrypting locally first, before uploading the data. This is because decryption happens automatically when you log in to a cloud system. If you further encrypt it, you can minimize the chances of data breaching. Also, not all cloud-based systems are created equally. So, choose the right cloud platform that offers the highest level of security with built-in safeguards.
- Upgrade to Modern Technology
Cybercriminals can access your devices through outdated software with known vulnerabilities. However, timely updating and upgrading your technological tools can significantly reduce the risk to your business. Despite that, this strategy is commonly underestimated by small and medium-sized enterprises. So, don’t make this mistake and keep your software and devices updated. Rely on the latest software applications and computing devices to take advantage of built-in security features like encryption controls, automated backup, etc.
- Secure Your Emails
Small businesses may find a free version of an email service tempting, but doing so is not the right approach. It can put your company at risk. Even though your colleagues must be trained to identify and manage malicious emails, avoiding them with email encryption is ideal. With paid email services, you can access cybersecurity features like filtering and warning labels. These features are effective when it comes to protecting users from malware and phishing threats.
- Give Your Teammates Limited Access
Today’s businesses need to connect their teams to the data they need. The problem, however, is to maintain peace of mind that your data is safe and secure. Thus, it becomes essential to restrict access to data. Never provide any one individual with complete access to all of your business data. Your teammates should have limited access based on their jobs and needs. Also, don’t allow them to install any software without permission.
- Conduct Security Audit
What if I tell you that 93% of cyberattacks are avoidable? All you need to do is implement some simple practices and audit them time-to-time. How do you back up data, secure your network, and update your software? Make sure there is a proper security-conscious culture for managing these tasks. Above everything, everyone should take cybersecurity seriously, not just the IT team.
- Know What to do
While the preventative measures outlined in this article can help you reduce a significant amount of cyberattacks, make sure you know what to do when a cyberattack takes place. There may be some things simply outside your control, so consider cyber insurance coverage that will help you in building a recovery plan. Talk to your insurance agent and discuss:
- What policies might be appropriate for your business?
- What are the costs associated with a potential cyberattack?
- How much time it will take to recover the data and the system?
The Bottom Line: Don’t Wait for a Cyberattack to Occur
Since a single cyberattack could cost your business millions of dollars, it’s important to tag cybersecurity as “the paramount concern”. And if think it’s a daunting task for your company, why not just hand things over to the experts, at least for the sake of your business? Don’t delay; implement the right strategies today.