As cybercrime continues to evolve, it’s not just the large enterprises that are under the radar of hackers. Small businesses also tend to be easy victims of cyberattacks. Also, the massive global shift to remote working has created an open season for cybercriminals. So, big or small—no business is safe from these cyber threats. Big companies typically have the resources and security measures in place to safeguard their networks against the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats.
But with tighter budgets and fewer resources, smaller businesses have low levels of security on devices and networks, making them an easy target for hackers out there. Hence, it is imperative to reinforce your company’s security to boost your resilience to cyber attacks. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your data and keep your small business safe from online threats. Here are five key cybersecurity tips that will help you build a cyber fortress around your business.
Deploying a firewall on your network should be one of the first things you need to focus on to provide an added layer of protection to your business. Firewalls prevent an unauthorized user from accessing a computer or network. It enables you to choose what type of content to allow into your network. Your operating system is more likely to have a software firewall already, but it’s better to have a more advanced version for your business devices. You can also consider installing a hardware firewall that can protect all your devices on the same network, even if those devices don’t have a software firewall. If you have a remote workforce, your employees will need to install an advanced software firewall on the computers they use for work. Also, don’t forget to back up every last piece of data you could ever need.
Secure Vulnerable Endpoints
You should conduct a security risk assessment and look for the most vulnerable endpoints. Mobile devices and laptops are some of the most susceptible entry point to a network. So, secure all endpoints to prevent a data breach. Many conventional or anti-virus tools block only the malware they recognize. Thus, consider implementing more sophisticated endpoint protection platforms that can scan and block malware and safeguard every device on the network. Keep your security software up-to-date and use digital signatures to reduce external security threats.
Keep Your Software Up To Date
Cyber threats are constantly evolving. So, the system also needs updates and ‘patches’ to ensure continued protection. When left ignored, security patches can create vulnerabilities that hackers know how to exploit. Thus, businesses need to make sure that all of their systems are patched and updated for security. They need stringent patching policies so that users don’t ignore software update prompts as these updates are the first line of defense against common viruses and malware. To further enforce security, businesses should ensure that auto-updates are enabled and operational.
Keep an Incident Response Plan in Place
Taking all the preventive measures to prevent cyber threats is critical but you can’t ignore another significant component — an incident response plan. No security plan is completely infallible hence every business must stay prepared for the eventuality of a breach. Thus, having an incident response plan (IRP) outlining the action that needs to be taken and who is responsible for the response following a breach is vital. Some malware attacks spread at lightning speed once a network has been breached, so planning a response after an incident already occurred will conjure up a lot of time.
Provide Effective Cyber Security Training to Employees
No technology can offer full-proof protection to your network and data. No matter how great your cybersecurity tools are, without effective cybersecurity training, your business is more likely to be the target of a cyber attack. According to industry research, employees cause more than half of all cybersecurity incidents. So, along with technology, educating users on common scams and avoidance techniques is also crucial to protect your small business from lurking hackers.
Today, cybercrime is on the rise. Hackers are getting smarter and cyber attacks are getting bigger. So, looking at the lightning pace of cyber threats, doing nothing is simply too risky. Having an efficient cybersecurity plan in place and being aware of the risks can prevent costly and devastating data breaches and ransomware attacks. So, put these cybersecurity tips into action and you will be on your way to making your business cyber-safe. Stay safe!