A data breach typically costs millions of dollars and tarnishes a company’s reputation. We often see headlines about large and multinational corporations being victims of cyber-attacks.
While the media reports are generally focused more on larger businesses, cyber criminals are taking advantage of the small business cybersecurity weaknesses comprising more than 40% of cyber-attacks.
Small Businesses Cybersecurity Protection
Many small business owners falsely believe their company is safe from hackers, or a data breach. However, cyber criminals are aware that for many small businesses, cybersecurity may not be a priority. This makes them an easy target for cyber-attacks.
Small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets for cyber criminals—and the results are often devastating for small business owners.
Small businesses can take these simple steps to strengthen their security measures and lessen the risks of a cyber-attack within their organisation. These steps will tell you how to protect your business from cyber-attacks.
Regularly Update Software & Computer Systems
Ensure that all your computer systems are up to date. This includes your operating systems, anti-virus software and internet browsers. A regular update includes the process of fixing any bugs and loopholes in the security program or software. They are called patches, because they cover any loopholes that can be used as an entryway for the hackers. Effective cybersecurity for small business includes a regular schedule of running software updates.
Limit Data Access To Necessary Employees Only
When you limit who is permitted to see certain records, you also set precautions to your employees that may accidentally click malicious links. Set up protocols on data access. Provide access only to those employees that need the information.
Your financial data and other sensitive client information should only be visible to employees with specific roles related to financial transactions. This is one of the many cybersecurity risks for businesses. Your employees play an important role in the data security of your business.
Add 2 Step Login To Everything
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), acts as an extra layer of security to your account. Aside from the login and password, you will also be required for a code via sms or an app. This creates a 2 step login process (“something you know, and something you have”).
This will ensure that you are only allowing access to authorised employees and control any intruder’s attempts to break into your systems.
Always Backup Business Data
There are many challenges in cybersecurity for business, and one of them is data recovery. Ensure that your business has a data backup and restore plan. In the event of any cyber attacks on your network, your data backup will save you from expensive losses to your operations.
Data loss is equivalent to reputation loss and potentially large government fines. Your business operations may also cease working until the issue is rectified creating a negative impact on your daily revenues. If you have a data backup plan in place, your recovery will be faster in the event of a data breach or system hacking within your business.
Limit Third-Party Access
These are the shortlist of the people and companies that might have access to your data remotely: remote employees, business partners, subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors.
Third-party access not only creates a higher risk of cyber-attack but also provides another entry point for hackers into your system. The best way to protect your sensitive credentials from infringement against third-party access is to monitor third-party activities.
One of the challenges in cybersecurity for business is to determine scope limitations to data access. You can define the limitations as to what third-party users can access and also monitor closely who exactly joins to your network and why.
Implement Cybersecurity Protocols
Create concrete cybersecurity policies that can be implemented company wide. Make every single employee accountable for any violations of this policy. Implementing a small businesses cybersecurity plan may not seem easy but if everyone in the company is involved and aware, it will be a success.
Avoid Phishing Scams
Stay away from suspicious emails and phone calls. Phishing scams are some type of social engineering attack using various social engineering schemes, cyber-culprits will attempt to trick you into disclosing personal credentials such as your login ID and password, credit card details or banking info.
Phishing scams can be delivered by text, phone, or the many different social media platforms however most commonly are by email. Be dubious of anyone that asks for personal or financial credentials who you don’t know.