Technology

9 Important Cyber Security Tips for your Small Business

Running and managing a small business can have several hurdles. One of the major concerns is security. It’s no secret, small organization are mostly targeted by hackers.

Want to know the reason? Because small organization are under-protected.

Hackers are frequently targeting small companies. They are targeting small business to access sensitive data.

As per the analysis, 47% of small companies have experienced a cyber-attack over the past one year. Cybersecurity is a serious concern for small business. Small business entrepreneurs assume that their business is too small to be a target for unauthorized users, but cyberattacks on the small organization are becoming common and are increasing alarmingly.

Take effective measures to protect your small business. Some of the common measures can be – securing Wi-Fi network, installing anti-virus software on all machines or using IT consultancy services for experts advice.

Following are 9 best cybersecurity tactics that can easily be implemented to enhance security.

Implement a strong firewall

Will you feel safe when your main door is unlocked? Of course no right!!! In the same way, you cannot leave your business with a loophole for you hackers to enter. Firewall can be treated as padlock of your business.

Small and large businesses use a firewall to protect their network from unauthorized access. There are various types of firewalls that are used to secure sensitive data. A client-based firewall is a software installed on devices. A hardware firewall is used to monitor every activity from start to end of a connection.

The ultimate goal for the firewall is to integrate a robust hardware firewall with an effective software controls for providing a comprehensive security solution for business. The software and hardware controls includes antivirus, VPN, antispam and other content filtering capabilities.

Set clear security protocols

Planning is important for small business success. You should have a decent plan to protect your business from hackers and unauthorized users. Take a long breath and note down every point. Take guidance from IT experts and get information from guides available online. Outline your plan for securing your network by integrating the right software.

Small businesses should establish clear security protocols as privacy concerns grow. It’s a primary goal to safeguard your small business with powerful security protocols.

  • How many times do you need to scan and update your system?
  • Which of your data is sensitive?
  • How can you handle sensitive data?
  • Which type of software safeguards are important?
  • Who should access your information?

Less is dangerous!!! If you’re handling sensitive information like customer personal data, legal or transactional details. It’s highly important to measure security protocols twice a week.

Security awareness training for employees

In immensely networked systems, companies can’t protect the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information without providing a security training program for their employees. As per the analysis, 46% of cybersecurity attacks occurred due to human error.

Hard to believe, right? Yes, it’s true.

Let’s consider, an uninformed employee can harm a network by opening and responding to spam emails, visiting websites infected with virus programs. Sometimes, storing their personal information in an unsecured location.

Don’t assume your employees know everything. Phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated with each passing day, therefore you can’t always keep an eye on everything. It can take one single click to let the unauthorized users access sensitive data. Hence you need to conduct a security training session for your employees.

Improve password protection

People are using the internet from the past 35 years and more, yet they still have no idea about how to create online password. Don’t you agree? Yes!!! As per security analysis, the common passwords are “123456” or user name. These passwords are simple and easy to remember. When the password is simple, it is obvious to get hacked.

Hackers use various methods to access your account. Also, use advanced techniques to crack users password. Therefore, make your password long. The longer and complex your password is, it takes time to hack your password. The passwords that are less than 3 characters can take a few seconds to crack. Create a long password with random phrases. Make your password look stronger by including numbers, characters, uppercase and special characters. Never ever reuse a password and don’t share your password with anybody.

Backups

Whether you’re running a small or large business, information is an important aspect for you. The loss of sensitive information can end-up costing you a billion dollars. Many companies rely on data backup plans for protection to ensure the information is safe from theft.

Database backup refers to the method of copying business information from the computer or devices in order for you to have multiple copies. Storing information on multiple copies at different locations, it can help you in restoring the data using data recovery techniques when business information is lost or corrupted during an unfortunate event.

There are various backup services available online. These services enable you to allow access to your business information without any restriction on place or time. Multiple copies of business information stored in the cloud can keep business information secure and safe in multiple locations. Online backup services also provide cloud storage feature, it provides additional protection to secure data from natural disasters.

Software and firmware updates

Want to improve the performance of your device? Then it’s time for a software update. Upgrading your gadget or device with advanced instruction can enable it to perform better. You don’t need to physically include anything in the device to get an upgrade. All you need to click on “update” button.

In this digital world, gadgets are used everywhere – from home to office. Gadgets help people with everything. It includes scheduling meetings, calling, saving the notes and more. As a business entrepreneur, you need to ensure that your hardware functions effectively and offers a trouble-free experience for the user.

  • Operating systems
  • Web servers
  • Email programs
  • Anti-malware software
  • Firewall
  • Network security

Big brands such as Microsoft, HP and Apple update their operating system often to enhance their product and integrate additional features. Therefore, to ensure efficiency, it’s important to keep your software up-to-date.

Network segmentation

The idea of “Network Segmentation” to improve security is not a new one. In fact, it’s a popular security strategy used by all organization from ages.

Network segmentation is defined as creating sub-networks within a single network. When you segment, you are dividing a wide network into smaller segments. It means you’re reducing the complexity and improving the security by dividing the group of a system from each other.

There are several benefits of implementing network segmentation

  • Improved security
  • Allows authorized users to access the network
  • Provide a way to log events
  • Monitor external and internal connections
  • Better containment

Segmentation can be implemented in two ways such as physically and virtually. In the end, the results are similar. Network security can improve security and performance.

Virtual private networks

A virtual private network is an effective solution to protect your business and improve your security online.

A VPN is specially designed to provide an encrypted tunnel to transfer the information between the individual user and the business network. VPN encrypts total traffic – entering and leaving on your devices. The information transferred on the network cannot access by unauthorized users. Because the system integrated various elements to ensure security.

  • Improved security
  • Remote access
  • Cost-effective
  • Bypass restriction

VPN integrates another layer of security to public and private network – Wifi hotspots. These days small business owners are using VPN confidently. Also, sharing sensitive data, sharing files and confidential data across the network. It’s an amazing solution for remote employees and companies with global organizations and clients to share private information in a secure way. Choose the best VPN to ensure great connectivity, speed and security.

Implement multi factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a popular strategy. Company can implement it to prevent hackers or unauthorized users on the network to access sensitive data. Keeping it simple, multi factor authentication includes providing an additional layer of security on the network. It means users need to provide information for identification such as passwords, secret questions, etc.

There are numerous situations of hacked passwords. Don’t you agree? Yes, systems with easy username and password are likely to get hacked. In such cases, implementing powerful multifactor authentication is the best way to prevent hackers from accessing your accounts.

Implement multi-factor authentication in the right way, it will become difficult for an intruder to steal the data on the network. The additional layer of system protection through MFA can ensure more security.

Data access permissions

Role-based user access control is the best way for advanced access control. The user access can depend upon various factors – authority, experience, responsibility, etc. It’s no secret, lower-level employees cannot access the business information. 

Not everyone is allowed to access business information. The ability to access and modify sensitive data should be limited to specific people. Access to resources can be limited. Consider, an employee timesheet. The timesheets will be created by the administrative department. Employee view, create and edit a timesheet.

Data access permission can let business owner grant certain persons in your business access to the company information. By allowing different permission for different roles can improve security.

Final Thoughts

The internet is providing great advantages for small and large companies. Besides, it also brings the serious risk of cybercrime and attempts. Cyber-crime is a common concern every business is dealing with. Virus, phishing, unauthorized users and intrusions are few facts of the virtual world. Therefore it’s important to handle these risk with these security practices for your small business.