View Source: Michael Gargiulo
For a long time, there was an assumption that cybercrime and data breaches were only a problem for government establishments and large corporations. Smaller businesses felt secure in the assumption that cybercriminals only went after the big guns. However, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s also a big part of why the cybersecurity of so many small businesses is lacking.
A 2019 report from Verizon found that 43% of cyberattacks were aimed at small businesses, and according to Keeper Security (via CNBC), only 14% had the capacity to defend themselves. It’s easier and less risky for criminals to hack into the network of a small business, which is why no one can afford to take cybersecurity for granted.
Have Clear Cybersecurity Policies
It’s important to have clear policies and protocols for your small business when it comes to cybersecurity. Without them, you could leave your company vulnerable to attacks. Your cybersecurity policy should outline all assets that need protection and potential threats to each asset as well as how to protect them. Your policy should also guide employees on a few issues, including:
- Sensitive business information — what is confidential and what is shareable externally.
- Devices and online materials — how to use them within the work environment.
- Sensitive data — how to protect and maintain the privacy of critical internal information.
At the very least, a clear cybersecurity policy for your small business can help your employees better understand their roles in protecting your online assets.
Train Employees To Minimize The Risk Of An Attack
According to Kaspersky Lab, human error causes 90% of data breaches. Whether you have just a handful of employees or several more, you need to make sure your employees have hands-on training. Equipping your workers with the necessary knowledge can minimize the chance of breaches and ensure they are aware of which threats put your organization in danger.
Training employees on cybersecurity best practices for your small business is so important because phishing attacks are more sophisticated than ever. You’ll also want to conduct follow-up training to give your employees regular updates on new policies and protocols to keep up with evolving cyber threats.
Get A Secure Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is almost an essential cybersecurity tool for your small business. A business VPN can help to provide end-to-end encryption for the internet connection of all your business devices.
Once you encrypt business data, then hackers, competitors and cybercriminals will find it difficult to access or steal your sensitive information. Keep in mind that you need to choose a reliable, fast VPN for your business to ensure complete data protection and convenience.
You’ll want to train your employees to use the VPN at all times, especially when they are outside of the office, to enable safe data sharing between colleagues, vendors and external associates of the organization. Finally, make sure you choose a VPN that provides secure access from remote locations to facilitate traveling and remote employees.
Follow Strong Password Protocols And Enable Multifactor Authentication
A strong password policy for your employees is the best practical approach to cybersecurity. Similarly, multifactor authentication requires more than one proof of identity before any information is made accessible. Here are some important protocols for strong passwords and multifactor authentication:
- All passwords should meet specific requirements, such as including symbols, numbers and lowercase and uppercase letters.
- Enable multifactor authentication protocols like fingerprint scans, secret questions or facial recognition to ensure the right people have access to important company information.
- Get employees to change passwords every month, two months or quarter to keep them safe from potential hacks. Also, update multifactor authentication information regularly to maintain a higher level of security.
Strong Cybersecurity Is Essential For Every Business
Contrary to popular belief, cybercrime is not restricted to big organizations. Criminals grow smarter every day and know where to look for the weak links. Cybersecurity for your small business must be a top priority if you want to avoid potentially detrimental data breaches or security leaks.