Cybersecurity has become a very important topic over the past several years and is even more relevant with each new advancement in technology. While it may seem like an extra expense, it’s actually the best present you can give yourself and your business for next year.
The fact that you run a small business won’t deter criminals from attacking you. It’s easy to convince yourself that surely they’ll pass you over in favor of the larger businesses with more to steal, but you actually have a lot more to lose than you may realize.
Small businesses need cybersecurity best practices to protect valuable assets and data. According to the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee, 71 percent of cyberattacks occurred at businesses with fewer than 100 employees. This means small businesses are among those at the highest risk of attack.
So, why is this? Nearly all cyberattacks are committed for the purpose of obtaining personal information for use in credit card or identity theft. While larger businesses have more data for criminals to steal, they also often invest in secure networks. Small businesses, on the other hand, often have less secure networks that can be easily breached. Investing in managed cybersecurity services will ensure your business is protected all the time.
One-half of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses. According to CPO Magazine, many small business owners don’t pay enough attention to cybersecurity because they think their business is too small to be under such attacks. This is what makes them the perfect target for hackers.
Consider these best practices when choosing how you’ll invest in cybersecurity and other complete IT solutions before the year’s end.
Employ a firewall
A firewall is one of the first lines of defense against cyberattackers. It provides a barrier between your data and the criminals who mean to do you harm. You can also install an internal firewall and invest in server management for additional protection.
Create and document cybersecurity policies
Make sure cybersecurity protocols are in place. Training, information, and checklists are available via the internet to show you where to begin your cybersecurity efforts. You should also participate in the C3 Voluntary Program for Small Businesses where you can take advantage of a detailed toolkit for ascertaining cybersecurity policies and best practices.
Plan to secure your mobile devices
Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are commonly used in small businesses today for making business transactions, conducting research, and keeping up with valuable contacts while in transit. Wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers with wireless capability have also become increasingly popular and must be included in cybersecurity efforts. Mobile Malware is on the rise. According to Norton, in a Symantec Internet Security Threat Report from 2018, the number of malware variants for mobile devices increased by 54 percent in 2017. Be sure to incorporate these types of devices when establishing security policies.
Educate your employees on the importance of cybersecurity
It’s quite possible that all employees of your small business wear multiple hats. Because of this, it is essential to train all who access your small business network on cloud services and cybersecurity policies and best practices.
As criminals become savvier, regular updates need to be incorporated to include new protocols. Conduct ongoing training to ensure everyone is aware of the latest information. You can also require employees to sign a document confirming their awareness of these policies and stating they understand the actions that will be taken if protocols aren’t followed.
Require the use of safe passwords
Though regularly changing passwords can be frustrating, data breaches can cause serious problems for your small business. Many data loss situations occur due to stolen, lost, or weak passwords. Establish password criteria and make employees aware of why it exists. It’s essential to password protect all computers and mobile devices that will access your company’s network, so be diligent with this requirement.
Want to learn more about cybersecurity and other computer services? Contact CTSI today to find the solutions that are right for your business.