Cyber-attacks do not discriminate when it comes to business, no matter the size of your organization. Even though data breaches in companies and government departments appear to be emphasized, the fact is that small business is at the top of the list. Small companies are generally under-protected, mostly because of the “idea” that they can’t afford the same degree of security as large corporations. Adequate data security is not beyond the scope. We’ve narrowed down six cybersecurity tips that can help any small business owner.
1. Prioritizing risk assessments
A risk assessment is one of the first activities an organization can complete when planning its cyber-security program.
It’s the only way to make sure that the controls you select are acceptable to the risks the company faces.
Without a risk assessment, the company is likely to neglect risks that may otherwise have catastrophic consequences.
Likewise, you may spend time and money fixing incidents that are unlikely to occur or won’t cause serious harm.
There is, after all, no point in adopting policies to protect against incidents that are unlikely to occur or won’t have any material effect on the organization.
The best way to perform a risk evaluation is by adopting the principles defined in the international standard for information security management, ISO 27001.
Its best-practice methodology is based around the risk-management process, helping organizations understand risks and solutions associated with individuals, processes, and technology.
2. Recognize your vulnerabilities
Compare what technologies and software you are using for security, to what is available on the market. Cost is always a consideration when deciding on new options, but the costliest alternative isn’t necessarily the one that will be right for you.
3. Enable two-factor authentication
You’ll know 2FA from other sites you use like banking apps. The user requires two types of authentication to gain entry – such as password and PIN code – making it harder for fraudsters to guess the user’s login information. If you don’t want to depend on fixed numbers and codes, you can also use apps like Microsoft/Google Authenticator – this will send an authorization notification to your phone, which you can either approve or deny.
A few won’t be able to enable 2FA. In this scenario, you can look at other security options open to you. One-time passwords and biometric authentication are two such solutions. One-time passwords (also known as dynamic passwords) are only valid for one use or transaction and can be implemented on any device. The user will receive an automatically created alphanumeric password to their phone or email to log in for one-time use. This would be more appropriate for casual workers or freelancers.
Biometric authentication is a sign-in, which relies on the unique physical characteristics of an individual, such as their fingerprints, face, or voice. Some laptops and smartphones would already have a fingerprint or voice authentication feature built-in, but we’ve included a couple of third-party vendors too.
4. Train your employees
Your workers should engage in your small business security plan.
Create a cybersecurity policy for your company. It should include cybersecurity best practices that you want workers to follow. Include procedures for keeping employee, vendor, and consumer information secure. Your Cyber Security policy should also include procedures that workers would obey in case there is a breach.
Have employees build solid, unique passwords for each account. They should have a password for any desktop and mobile device they use, alongside strong passwords for business accounts.
Whenever you can, make your workers set up two-factor authentication. This involves a two-step sign-in method that adds another layer of authentication to accounts. Employees will need access to another device or code to perform the sign-in method.
Send out frequent information security tips for employees, particularly when you learn new things or set up new security processes.
5. Restrict the access
Unauthorized individuals do not have access to company computers and accounts. Even a well-known, trustworthy individual shouldn’t be able to access computers and information that they are usually unauthorized to use. For example, you shouldn’t let a client borrow a business laptop to look up information.
Employees with different ranks and positions might have different access to technology. Employees shouldn’t share details with their networks. For example, an accountant shouldn’t share their business accounting software password with a salesman.
Have unique logins for workers wherever possible. This will help you restrict the rights of those workers.
6. Protected Wi-Fi
Accessing data via Wi-Fi is an incredibly simple way for hackers to get in. When setting up Wi-Fi for your company, set up two separate accounts: one public and one private. The public Wi-Fi should be available to visitors, and the private Wi-Fi should be reserved for employee usage only. Be sure to restrict Wi-Fi use to personal computers and mobile devices if necessary.
Securing Your Business Operations
Finally, it’s worth noting that all the above measures play an important part in Cybersecurity. As the old saying has it: prevention is better than cure, particularly when it comes to unwanted attention and full-scale attacks from scammers. To put it another way, device, and network security are no longer anything on a wish list. Nowadays, it is important for daily business.
Cyber-attacks are not the direct responsibility of the targeted organization. Nonetheless, such misfortune also exposes the victim to the risk of negligence lawsuits, legal actions for breach of contract, regulatory compliance, and loss of trust.
More than four-fifths of such breaches involve the SME sector. Astonishingly, if the latest technology had been present, almost all the cyber-attacks (97 percent) could have been prevented. Moreover, stricter regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) framework means that businesses must make security a priority if they are to escape punitive fines.
If your local IT support requires assistance with some of the protective measures, we recommend contacting us today. Our team would be happy to help.
Cyber-attacks do not discriminate when it comes to business, no matter the size of your organization. Even though data breaches in companies and government departments appear to be emphasized.