The digital age has brought dynamic changes to the way businesses are running their operations. Undeniably, it has increased the efficiency and productivity in almost all aspects of business and every day processes.
However, these technological breakthroughs have also brought with them equal risk as well. The increasing complexity of the cyberspace and use of personal and business data has made small and large companies vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Below are some of the cyber security tips for small business that will help you stay protected against cyber-attacks and data breaches.
Employee Cyber-Awareness Training
Your employees play an important role in implementing cyber security tips in the workplace.
Company security policies should be in place for employees, such as generating strong passwords, along with guidelines on correct and permitted network and device usage.
Your employees’ awareness about your company security policies form a strong first line of defence against cyber-attacks. Regular cyber-awareness training further enhances this line of defence.
Your company should observe the following data security tips for employees:
Filter into your spam folder all unsolicited emails.
Regularly clear your spam folders.
Ensure all fund transfers requests and payments are authorised only by approved persons.
All passwords should be unique and randomly generated. The same password should not be used across business software/applications.
Keep Computer Systems Updated
One of the most basic computer security tips is ensuring your computer networks are using the latest and the most updated security software, anti-virus, operating systems and browsers. Viruses, malware and other online threats are always changing and so too should your systems by having them patched (updated) regularly.
Computer updates will enhance and add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones. Software can develop security holes or weaknesses over time and so regular updates will make sure these vulnerabilities are covered.
Firewall Your Internet Connection
Hackers will always try to access your business data any way they can. Using a firewall to block them from stealing your data provides an additional layer of protection (eg; set your operating system’s firewall to “enabled”). With a firewall properly setup, it will monitor all network traffic to identify and block unwanted sources.
Data Backup & Recovery Plan
Ensure all your critical business data is backed up regularly (and offsite too, in a fireproof safe). Losing client data can mean potential lawsuits and government fines with many businesses bound by data privacy laws nowadays.
Access Based on Employee Roles
Other data security tips for employees are only providing access to company data on a “need to know” basis. Assign and keep access restricted based on an employees specific role in your business. The more employees that have access to certain information, the more vulnerable your network is to a data breach.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks
All your Wi-Fi networks should be hidden and encrypted with WPA-2 and AES. Internet connectivity is now ubiquitous in the office (like water, gas and electricity!). So check your wifi network is hidden and not broadcasting your SSID.
Passwords and Authentication
Include in your company’s internet security tips for employees the best practice of using strong, non-dictionary based passwords. In addition, set up a multi-factor authentication (2 step login) to provide a second layer of security to your network and software applications.
Implement a password policy for your company that follows the following:
- All passwords should be unique per application or system.
- Passwords should be randomly generated.
- Should be changed regularly or every set number of days.
Data breaches can be an instant loss of revenue for a business. Aside from the hit to your company reputation, the business interruption to your operations can mean significant financial losses that mount daily. So it’s never too late to implement these cyber security tips for small business and secure your biggest asset (your business) to give you and your customers greater peace of mind around data privacy.