6 Things Small Businesses Need To Know About Cybersecurity

6 Things Small Businesses Need To Know About Cybersecurity

The following contribution is from another author.

Starting a small business is challenging at the best of times without the added worry of external threats from people hiding behind a computer screen.

Cybersecurity is an area of high importance in our private and professional lives. In your private life, you should know how to keep your data safe. However, for businesses cybersecurity is becoming increasingly complex as cybercriminals strive to find new ways to conduct their digital attacks.

No matter how big your business is, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. You must protect your data including that of employees and customers. Small and midsize businesses are attacked as much as bigger businesses. Small businesses have seen a startling amount of cyber attacks in the last few years with the majority of those businesses going under just 6 months after the attack.

To protect your business you must use integrated security solutions, put adequate protections in place, and stay strong in the event of an attack. To do this you can get support from an IT company, but 1st read this article where we explain 6 things small businesses need to know about cybersecurity to stay fully protected.

Employees

No business can operate without its employees. Employees are not only essential to keeping the business running, but they are also the first line of defence against cyber-attacks. That doesn’t mean every worker needs to be an expert in cybersecurity. Instead, employees that work with sensitive data, payments, and online communications should be trained on how to recognize a cyberattack and what to do. Employees must be taught basic security best practices, online usage guidelines, and cyber policies. They must be prepared for all eventualities that might arise. Successful cyber-attacks occur largely in part due to employees not having adequate training and a good understanding of how cybercriminals work. Make sure all staff gets all the training and education available as this first line of defence is key to fighting cybercrime.

Network

It’s imperative that your network has at least basic security – without it, you are at greater risk of a breach. Investing now in the latest security software, operating system, and web browsers could save you a fortune in the future as it offers greater protection against cyber-attacks. Updating your operating system is a crucial step in making your network harder for cybercriminals to attack. Constant updates may feel annoying at times, but they are necessary as they plug any weak spots in the network. As well as keeping your OS up to date, you should also invest in security software and malware scanner software. Businesses worldwide have saved millions thanks to having adequate protection such as security software. Regular updates, good security software, and malware scanner software are essential to keep your network shielded from cybercriminals.

Firewall

The firewall protects your network by blocking attacks from outside. However, occasionally it can be turned off by programs or software that you install. Make sure you check often that the firewall is on. If your employees are properly educated about online security, they will also know to check the firewall settings and make sure it’s turned on at all times. The firewall that comes with your OS is usually the best one to use, but you can get firewall software online if you prefer. Whichever you use, make sure it is always on and kept updated for best results.

Data

Data is one of the most valuable things in the modern world. That’s why cybercriminals are always trying to steal it! Make sure your data is always protected and backed up. If possible, store your data on a separate drive not linked to your network and make sure it’s all backed up. Backup data can be stored automatically using high-security cloud storage. Backing up your data this way means you don’t have to remember to do it. It’s just done, stored, and safe!

Cloud Storage

A good cloud storage service will be highly secure and safe. That’s why before storing your data you must do your due diligence to ensure your data is kept in the safest place possible. Another excellent feature of using cloud storage is that your data is encrypted and locked away providing a further layer of protection. This will cost more, but the extra cost is worth it for the extra protection offered. The cost of a cyberattack would be much more than the cost of good cloud storage. In some cases, it can mean the end of a business!

Control Access

Another important security measure is to only allow access for employees that need it. Keep computers locked down for everyone else. There is no need for everyone to have access to the network other than those that can’t do their job without it.

Author

Eric is the creator of At Home in the Future and has been a passionate fan of the future since he was seven. He's a web developer by trade, and serves as the Director of Communication and Technology for a large church in Nashville, TN (where he and his family are building a high tech home in the woods).

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