As more and more business is being done online, hackers are increasingly taking advantage of unsuspecting business owners. A lot of small and medium-sized businesses do not have the technical savvy nor the budget to put proper protections in place. However, you don’t need to be a tech wizard to protect your business. Here are some of the best cybersecurity tips for small and medium-sized businesses to improve your security, help prevent cyberattacks and avoid costly breaches.
A lot of companies automatically assume they won’t be targeted because they aren’t big enough. They think cybercriminals will reserve their attacks on larger businesses. While it’s certainly true that hackers want to go for the big score, a lot of them aren’t going to want the increased risk and effort that comes with it. These companies tend to have dedicated cybersecurity professionals working along with state-of-the-art systems in place. A lot of them will simply pivot to smaller companies purely because it’s low-hanging fruit in comparison.
A small business owner can’t afford to take cybersecurity lightly. They need to focus on improving cybersecurity within their business to improve data protection and more. A single cyberattack can prove to be incredibly costly for a business. Not only will it result in losing data, but it could lose the trust of your customers permanently. Siem tool is an AI triangulation that thinks like a human analyst to automate the process of threat detection, investigation, and response, increasing. Keeping this in mind, we’ve gone ahead and come up with some of the best and easiest-to-implement cybersecurity practices that you can use to improve your business’s cybersecurity. These tips can help you better position your business in today’s digitally dominated landscape.
Top Cybersecurity Tips For Small and Medium-Sized Businesses:
Implement a Firewall
One of the best things you can do to improve the security of your business is to implement a firewall. You want to have a firewall present because it helps you keep unwanted people out of your network. A firewall can protect your network from unauthorized intruders and it can either be a software or hardware-based solution. Your router should have a firewall on it. Likewise, you can further protect yourself with a software firewall too. Spending the money on a next-gen firewall is one of the best ways to protect your network. You also want to ensure you are protecting your remote workers with one.
Fix Your Passwords
You want to ensure your passwords are effective throughout your organization. First, you need to implement a password policy that requires every user to follow. The passwords within the policy should include capitals, lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. It should also be a minimum of 10 digits long. Every user should be required to set unique passwords and change them every 6 months. You want to train all employees on how to create effective passwords. Ideally, you want to give all employees access to a secure password manager. A password manager will do all of the work for your employees as you can autogenerate safe and secure passwords using it. Best of all, the passwords can be securely stored in an encrypted vault ready for them to use when they need to log in.
Security Awareness Training
You need to be regularly showing your employees how to optimize their cybersecurity. You want to engage in routine security awareness checks. This is the main way to create a better culture of having better cybersecurity organization-wide. You want to cover all of the basics in cybersecurity during this training. You should be showing them how to create unique and effective passwords, how to avoid phishing scams, and how to keep from infecting their devices and the network by avoiding suspicious email attachments and downloads.
This is the practice of using two forms of authentication to get into an account. With multi-factor authentication, a user needs to not only have the username and password but also need to have a separately stored code to access an account or network. This could be in the form of an SMS message, a mobile notification, or using an authentication app.
You need to ensure that you are continually backing things up. You want to have secure backups of everything that you need. You never know when disaster will strike. You want to have important data backed up at all times. Otherwise, you could be exposed to a ransomware attack. During these attacks, they will encrypt your data and make you pay to get it back. You need to back up everything so your data is well kept. Also, you need to ensure that all of your data is encrypted. Don’t wait around to see if disaster will strike. Be proactive about your business data. You want to have a minimum of (3) backup copies on different types of media including at least one stored offsite in a secure location.
You will find that computers and mobile devices continually receive security updates. These updates are pertinent to keeping your devices secure. This is why it’s so important to update all hardware regularly. However, the same is true for software and even operating systems. You want to apply these security updates and patches as soon as possible. There should be a policy that says you must update all systems and software immediately. It’s best to keep things on the auto-update setting so it does it without user input.
Segment The Network
It’s always a good idea to segment the network to mitigate risk. You want to split up the network and turn them into subnetworks. This is a good and easy way to secure the network and even boost performance. By segmenting things, you can ensure that if one part gets compromised, the other won’t. You want to make it as difficult as possible for an attacker to gain access to your systems and network. By segmenting it, you are giving them more steps. You also want to segment your data based on privileges. Try to limit access to sensitive data and restrict the use of admin privileges. Don’t allow all employees to access sensitive data. Only grant access to employees that need it. This limits your exposure. Also, revoke access to employees immediately when they leave the company.
You need to do everything possible to avoid phishing attacks. Unfortunately, phishing attacks are the most common cyber threat to small businesses and some of the most effective. This is primarily because employees aren’t educated on what to look out for when it comes to spotting phishing emails. A single email can allow an attacker to bypass your perimeter defenses and cause a lot of problems. They can install malware through phishing which can expose your entire system to more attacks.
If you have a wireless network at your business, you need to secure it as well as possible. You want your network to be encrypted. Don’t leave your network open and vulnerable. At a minimum, use WPA2 encryption. If possible, use WPA3 for better encryption. Whenever you set the network up, change the default admin username and password. Never leave your router on the defaults. Also, ensure you block access to your router from outside of the network.
Implement a Web Filter
This is probably best left for more advanced users. However, it’s an option on some consumer and prosumer equipment. You can deploy a web filter that will offer protection against web-based attacks. This can prevent anyone on the network from getting sent to a phishing site or any site that hosts known malware or viruses.