Why Do Small Businesses Need Cyber Security?
They most surely do! And if you want to take your small business online, it's reasonable to suggest that small business security should be high on your priority list.
The importance of cybersecurity is beyond words. Did you know that cybercriminals are more likely to attack small businesses than large corporations? This may come as a surprise, but when you consider why they do it, you'll see why. Small firms are more vulnerable due to the following factors:
- They keep track of their customers' payment information.
- They also preserve records of information on current and former customers.
- In addition, some tiny enterprises may have valuable intellectual property.
- Handling their own customers' transactions creates a chance for data theft.
We compiled a list of cyber-awareness suggestions to assist our readers.
Maintain the latest version of your software. To get you started, here are a few basic tips:
First, allow your device to receive automatic system updates.
Second, ensure that your desktop web browser receives security updates automatically.
Third, keep Flash, Java, and other browser plugins up to date.
Things You Can Do for Small Business Cyber Security
Antivirus and firewall software should be used. Malware and other dangerous viruses are prevented from infiltrating your device and compromising your data by anti-virus (AV) software. When protecting your data from hostile attacks, it's equally necessary to use a firewall. A firewall protects your device by filtering out hackers, malware, and other dangerous behavior over the Internet and determining what traffic is allowed to enter.
Authentication should be two-factor or multi-factor. Two-factor or multi-factor verification is a program that adds further layers of protection to the traditional password form of online identity. On the other hand, two-factor authentication requires you to input an extra authentication option such as a Personal Identification Code, another password, or even your fingerprint. In addition, an SMS delivery should not be utilized during two-factor authentication, according to NIST, because malware can be used to target mobile phone networks and corrupt data in the process.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you're using public Wi-Fi. Your device's activity is encrypted when you use VPN software. This makes gaining access to your device's data considerably more difficult for a cybercriminal.
Examine your online accounts and credit reports for any changes regularly. Right now, the most efficient strategy to safeguard your credit details from cyber attackers is to place a credit freeze. It enables you to lock your credit and use a PIN that only you will know. This PIN can then be used to apply for credit.
Preserve your PII (Personal Identifiable Information). PII is any detail that a cybercriminal could use to recognize or locate a person. Name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, Social Security Number, IP address, exact location, or any other physical or digital identifying data are examples of PII. Companies that follow the PCI DSS rules should protect your credit card information.
Business IT Security Tips You Can Put To Work
As an owner of a small business, you would probably have invested a lot of your time, energy, and money into making it grow and work. Are you okay with the prospects of losing everything you worked so hard to build simply because you didn’t adopt basic security measures?
Many small businesses fail due to security breaches which put all their data at risk. When a small business suffers from a loss of data due to a cyber-attack, 60% of them never recover.
One of the biggest security threats that a small business faces are its own employees. They pose a major threat to business IT security largely due to lack of knowledge or negligence. Educating employees and establishing a strategy for data security can help prevent cyber-attacks. Here are a few business security tips for employees which could help protect a small business:
A password needs to be something that you can remember but others can’t guess. You will be astonished when you find out how many people forget about that second part. Some of the most commonly used passwords even today are “123456” and “qwerty.” It doesn’t take a genius to crack codes like this. Birthdays are another common password. People don’t really change their passwords too often either. These simple passwords are very weak and can easily be hacked.
Once a hacker is on your organization’s servers they can cause some real damage. A strong password should be a combination of upper case and lower case letters combined with numbers and special characters. Teaching employees to develop strong passwords could help save your company from going out of business.
Like it or not, malware is not a joke. That’s why employees need to know how important malware protection is. It is very simple to obtain malware protection on a computer but not many people do it. Even if you don’t have a budget for malware protection, there are a number of free anti-malware software out there that do a decent job of protecting you from harmful malware attacks.
Employees need to know about the various dangers associated with clicking on web links or email attachments from unknown sources. When an employee clicks on a link that is spam, it can unleash all sorts of havoc on their system and on the organization’s servers. It could even open the doors to hackers in the future. Employees should know how to spot suspicious attachments or emails from fake websites and avoid them like the plague.
Many people believe that since mobile devices are new and well protected, they aren’t susceptible to any threats. While this may have been true at one point, it no longer is. Malware can now easily affect mobile devices too. It can end up being quite a headache for businesses and employees.
And lastly, you need to stress the importance of having and maintaining regular backups to your employees. Protecting data against ransomware is the need of the hour and the only way of doing that is through regular backups. You must back your work up.
Just follow these 5 business IT security tips for small business owners and you will be able to sleep peacefully at night knowing your data is secure.