It seems every headline you see lately has something about a business being a victim of a cyber attack in one form or another. While you’re probably used to reading about this happening to big business repeatedly, the media seldom reports on how it equally affects small businesses like yours.
Statistics from last year show 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses. That number is likely an eye-opener for you if you haven’t paid attention to today’s online world realities.
Overall, this points out one thing about those trying to hack you: It’s all about the money and not who you are. This isn’t to say all cyber attacks are hackers. Other attacks could happen that occur remotely, while still trying to get money out of you.
What’s important is to look at serious cyber security solutions, which come in various forms. It’s not always about just buying software and letting it do all the work for you. Proactive steps involving communication are a major step forward.
Here’s some cyber security tips for small business to consider.
Using Network Security Software from Vendors
It’s still important to use security software on every active computer in your small business. Regardless, you’re better off getting one from a vendor so you can get patches and updates automatically. You’re improving things when you can get some kind of managed service to look over your network, especially one with 24/7 monitoring.
Even so, many antivirus and anti-spyware tools are out there that work well. Just don’t depend on doing updates yourself or assigning them to staff members, since it’s inevitable you or they may forget.
Tools for Securing Your Network
Using encryption is essential for all your data, but you’ll have to apply it to different tools you use. While you may use encryption for data transfers from your mobile devices, don’t forget to set up encryption methods for your email. You can do this with Azure Rights Movement if you’re using software like Office 365. For services like Gmail, you already get encryption, yet it doesn’t hurt to use encryption application extensions for more thorough protection.
Cloud services provide encryption methods automatically. Nevertheless, if you use on-premise cloud, you’re directly responsible for your own encryption methods.
Also, don’t forget about encrypting your Wi-Fi network. You can hide your network name by using settings on your router.
Educating Your Employees on Today’s Cyber Threats
What your employees don’t know inevitably hurts them without knowing about cyber threat realities. Despite not being a fun subject to discuss at meetings, set aside time to educate your employees about the latest cyber threats. The more they know about what could happen, the more they’ll stay alert to anything suspicious.
You need to hold your employees accountable in protecting your network, especially when they post on social media. They need to know proper protocol about what kind of company information they post so they don’t inadvertently reveal data someone could steal.
Establishing Security Practices with Passwords/Authentication
No doubt you’ve heard plenty about how weak passwords are in companies today. The Better Business Bureau compiled a list this last year showing the weakest passwords small businesses commonly use. Pay attention to what passwords your employees use daily and whether they’re falling into the “123456” or “QWERTY” traps.
Even though it takes more time to create more complex passwords, it’s more than worth the time since it could cost you more if a cyber attack occurs.
As noted by cyber security experts, strong passwords aren’t always enough. Consider doing multi-authentication as well to assure only authorized staff accesses your private data.
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