Did you know that almost half of all reported cyber attacks target small businesses? Also, up to 60 percent of businesses hit close down within six months.
With statistics like that, it’s clear you need to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity.
While implementing cybersecurity best practices may seem like a daunting task at first, it doesn’t have to be. If you are committed to protecting your business, then the tips here can help you achieve that goal.
1. Software Updates
Hackers are smart. Their use and understanding of technology grows with each passing day. As a result, the threat they pose also grows. They can enter a computer network through outdated apps with known vulnerabilities.
This means you need to make sure your employees are properly trained and know how to execute software updates when needed.
This isn’t something that needs to be put off to once a month, or even once a week. You need to ensure employees are updating their software as soon as the new information is available.
2. Put Your Network on Lock Down
If you are like many other small businesses, then WiFi is a must-have. While this is true, it can also be a vulnerability.
One option to make your business WiFi connection more secure is by checking the WPA2 standard. This is the latest technology available for WiFi security.
You also need to know who is accessing your network. By evaluating identity and access management risks, you can minimize the possibility that “outsiders” gain access to your private WiFi network.
3. Use a Firewall
When trying to defend your business network against cyber-attacks, your first line of defense is a firewall. In addition to the standard external firewall that most small businesses have, it’s also a good idea to install internal firewalls.
An internal firewall offers an additional layer of protection. It’s also crucial that if you have remote workers, they install a firewall on their home network. It may be smart for you to provide firewall software to remote workers to ensure compliance.
You have likely heard how important it is to create strong passwords. However, this is something that can’t be reiterated enough.
The best way to create and remember strong passwords is by using a password management application. This allows you to store all of your passwords in a single location while generating complex, random options you don’t have to worry about memorizing.
If your employees don’t want to use this type of application, then make it required to have passwords that are a minimum of 10 characters long that include both lower- and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
Also, make sure your employees know they should never write their passwords down to keep on their workstation or laptop. This is just asking for it to be stolen.
5. Document All Cybersecurity Policies
While you may be able to operate your small business by intuitional knowledge and word-of-mouth, when it comes to cybersecurity, it’s absolutely crucial that you document all of your policies and protocols.
There are several programs available that can help you with this task. For example, the SBA offers a Cybersecurity portal that provides checklists, online training, and information that can help you protect your online business.
6. Consider Using a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) can be an invaluable tool. These are designed to encrypt all of the traffic entering or leaving your devices. If a nefarious hacker or cyber criminal does happen to intercept the information, all they will have access to is encrypted data.
7. Plan for the Use of Mobile Devices
Today, more than 59 percent of small businesses allow BYOD (bring your own device). As a result, it’s crucial that you have a documented BYOD policy that highlights all security requirements.
Also, with the increasing popularity of wearable devices, like fitness trackers and smartwatches featuring wireless capabilities, you need to make sure these devices are also included in the policy. You should make sure to set up automatic security updates and make your password policy apply to any and all mobile devices that may access your business network.
8. Backup Your Data Regularly
While prevention is key when it comes to attacks and hacks, it’s still possible that your network is going to be breached. As a result, you need to make sure you are backing up all your data including accounts payable and receivable, human resource files, financial files, databases, electronic spreadsheets, word processing documents, and more.
You also need to back up the data you have stored on the cloud. Upon backing up this information, ensure it is stored somewhere else – off-site – in case a flood or fire occurs.
To make sure that you have access to the latest copy of your data and information, check the backup on a regular basis. Making sure it is functioning properly is a must.
Safeguard Your Business with Cybersecurity Best Practices
As you can see, there are several cybersecurity best practices you should implement to keep your business safe from hackers and cybercriminals. With the risk continually growing, ensuring your network is secure can provide peace of mind that your business won’t suffer a devastating attack you can’t overcome.
Don’t wait to secure your network. One more day could be too long.
If you found the information here helpful and informative, then be sure to check out some of our other business blogs. For example, our blog about 5 ways to boost sales for your e-commerce store is full of actionable information.
We are dedicated to helping all businesses succeed, so check back with us often to see what else you can learn.