Cybersecurity isn’t just a concern for large corporations; it’s a threat that affects small businesses as well. In fact, small businesses are often preferred targets for cybercriminals due to their typically weaker security infrastructures. As your business deals with valuable company and customer information, it’s essential to take proactive steps to protect it. In this blog, we will explore the potential risks and valuable strategies that can safeguard your organization.
Smaller organizations without high-level security measures in place can find themselves compromising valuable data. According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 28% of data breach victims were small businesses. Furthermore, a National Cyber Security Alliance survey revealed that 28% of small business owners experienced a data breach within one year.
Understanding vulnerabilities is the first step towards robust cybersecurity. Areas commonly at risk for small businesses include:
- Underfunded Adequate IT staff: Due to limited budgets, cybersecurity might take a back seat. Pinpoint where you may need external assistance to monitor and protect against cybersecurity threats at a more affordable cost.
- Employee Training Gaps: Cybercriminals are evolving, and your employees may unintentionally expose your business to risks. Focus on comprehensive education and training for your team, specifically addressing how to recognize phishing email scams and refrain from downloading suspicious content.
- Insufficient Network and Computer Security Measures: Hacker entry points can be unsecured Wi-Fi networks or weak passwords. Make sure your systems are equipped with firewalls, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), antivirus software, and suitable password protocol.
Once you understand current vulnerabilities, outline a solid plan to minimize exposure to cyber attacks:
- Implement Regular Assessments: Employ vulnerability scanning tools to monitor networks, software, websites, and other systems. Additionally, using firewalls, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and antivirus software provide additional layers of protection.
- Keep Software Updated: Promptly and routinely install the latest security patches released for your software. Regular updates ensure any exposed areas are patched and your systems stay secure.
- Two-Factor Authentication and Password Protocols: Require two-factor authentication for all applications and websites, enforce strong, unique passwords, and consider utilizing password manager programs to securely manage credentials.
- Back up Data: Protect your business from ransomware by regularly backing up data both onsite and with a reliable cloud provider.
- Prepare for a Cyberattack: Establish a robust response strategy involving a designated team to handle worst-case scenarios. Regular test runs can improve cybersecurity protocols.
Educating your employees plays a pivotal role in strengthening overall cybersecurity:
- Fortify Device Security: Maintain an inventory of work devices your employees use, including laptops, phones, tablets, especially in remote work scenarios. Extend security procedures, such as encryption and regular updates to all these devices.
- Recognize Common Scams:Educate, coach, and practice scenarios with your team, teaching them to identify tactics used by cybercriminals, such as phishing emails, malware downloads, social media spam, or social engineering attacks.
Taking an active stance in your business’s cybersecurity endeavors and promptly implementing protective measures can help save valuable time, money, and resources in case a cyberattack strikes. Remember, cybersecurity serves as the backbone for protecting your finances and preserving your valuable data, regardless of the business’s size.