If you’re a small business owner, you may be wondering why cybersecurity is such a hot-button topic these days. Keep reading to find out why your small business needs cybersecurity and what you can do to improve your cybersecurity protocol.
In the modern age, access to the internet is crucial for the success of small businesses. It provides the means for your business to expand into new markets and reach new heights of productivity and efficiency.
Cybersecurity threats, though, continue to evolve and become sophisticated, so it’s important for your small business to learn how to protect itself against online threats. Data loss, malware, and security breaches can all seriously harm small businesses. You need to have the tools and best practices in place to proactively fend them off.
In order to improve your small business’s cybersecurity, you need to have a comprehensive security plan. The security measures outlined below are some great ways to get started.
Having a strong password is essential for protecting your accounts, network, and business data in general. In fact, it’s one of the most important tools for maintaining small business cybersecurity. Here are a few tips on developing strong, difficult-to-crack passwords.
- Prioritize length and randomness. A password longer than 12 characters is much more difficult to crack.
- Avoid common words or phrases. Hackers often use dictionary attacks to break into your account, entering the most commonly used passwords until they find yours.
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, consider using them as unconventional substitutions in words or phrases.
- Don’t use personal information. Your password should be random, and tying it back to your identity can make it easier for malicious users to steal your login credentials.
- Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. Each account should have its own unique, randomized password to prevent hackers from accessing all of your accounts and data.
Use all of these tips to build yourself a strong password, and make sure you update your password at least once every three months.
Small business cybersecurity can be bolstered by implementing multifactor authentication (MFA). With MFA, you have to input multiple pieces of information in order to authenticate your identity and access your accounts. If your login credentials are stolen, this prevents malicious users from gaining access to your account.
Here are a few examples of MFA:
- Biometric identification
- Security questions
- SMS or phone call verification
Training your employees on the best cybersecurity practices is a great way to protect your business data. They should know how to create strong passwords that are difficult to crack and know how to spot even the most subtle phishing attacks. Malicious users often try to breach your system through employee portals, so make sure they know how to protect themselves.
Installing the latest software and operating systems is one of the easiest ways that your small business can improve its cybersecurity. The latest updates contain security protocols that are equipped to deal with current cyber threats like viruses and malware. To protect your system even further, turn on automatic updates and set your antivirus software to scan your system after each update.
Integrating firewalls into your cybersecurity plan prevents outside users from accessing data on your network. Using complex algorithms, firewalls are able to divert suspicious or malicious activity away from your network, keeping you and your data safe. Hybrid or remote employees should make sure their home network is also protected by a firewall. This ensures that while they’re working from home, malicious users and software can’t access private business data.
Following that point, another way to maintain small business cybersecurity is to secure your mobile devices. Laptops and smartphones often have access to your corporate network, whether that’s through the cloud or a VPN. Make sure these devices are password protected and have security software installed.
To ensure that your data remains safe and secure, you need to regularly back it up across multiple data centers. Data backups allow your small business to bounce back quickly after experiencing data breaches, data loss, or unexpected downtime.
Small business cybersecurity can be improved by migrating critical business data to the cloud, where it can be accessible even if your primary system goes down. Cloud storage is typically more secure than on-premises storage, too, so you can be sure that your data is encrypted and safe.
Your business’s Wi-Fi network is your primary portal to the internet, so you need to make sure that it’s not a vector for cyberattacks. You can secure your small business’s Wi-Fi network by password-protecting it, encrypting the connection, and hiding it from public view. Hiding your network makes it invisible to the public, adding another layer of security to your private connection.
You can also strengthen your small business’s cybersecurity by creating individual accounts for each employee and limiting access permissions. If you have individual accounts with restricted access, there’s less of a chance of a system-wide security breach if one account is compromised. Access to key administrative processes and sensitive data should only be given to specific, authorized individuals.
Another great way to improve your small business cybersecurity is by performing a risk assessment with the assistance of a managed service provider. During these assessments, your MSP will identify the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement within your system and IT infrastructure. They will then provide recommendations that will help you keep your data secure and free from risk.
Blue Net Inc. is a managed service and cybersecurity company in Minnesota that provides comprehensive technical support for small businesses. With our cybersecurity services, you can spend more of your time focusing on your core business, not dealing with cybersecurity issues. We’ll help keep your business safe so you can focus on growth and innovation. Contact us today to learn more.
Blue Net is your strategic technology partner delivering first-class, client-focused services and support. Our team stays on top of the latest technology and business trends to help companies meet and exceed their IT needs.