Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses in 2021
There’s a stigma that small businesses are at lower risk for cyber attacks because there are bigger fish for hackers to fry. When in fact, hackers are just as likely to target small businesses. Hackers know that small businesses typically have less security measures in place, so they’ll have a better chance of breaking through. Data breaches are higher than we’ve ever seen before, and remote working environments have accelerated this tremendously.
The point is, big or small, cybersecurity tips are something businesses shouldn’t be complacent about. Not only are data breaches a risk to your finances and personal data, but can also damage your reputation detrimentally. Even if you can’t afford to invest in a cybersecurity program or don’t have the manpower, there are simple and effective strategies you can implement quickly.
Below, we’ll discuss why these key areas of cybersecurity tips are important, and how to implement them.
1. Create strong passwords
You’ve heard it time and time again — strong passwords matter. It’s the first step you can do to protect your business, yet it’s often overlooked. There are a few common mistakes that result in weak passwords. The first is having a password that’s easy to guess. The second is using the same password to log in to every software you’re using. Nowadays, we have so many systems we use, so using the same password for everything makes it easy to remember. But as we know, access to one system creates a trickle effect. And if a hacker knows your password, they’ll try to access every account you have. We recommend changing your business passwords on a regular basis, and writing down all your passwords so you don’t forget. You can also utilize a password manager, which helps keep track and sort through them all.
2. Conduct regular training cadences
Security training is usually done during employee onboarding, or after the hack has occurred. When it comes to training, it’s important to be proactive, not reactive. And it shouldn’t be a one time deal. Whether it’s done monthly, bi-annually, annually, etc., make sure it’s done in a consistent cadence, and information is being updated. Make sure to discuss all your security policies, best practices for downloads, passwords, etc., how to identify phishing emails, how to handle sensitive data, and how to report an attack. Where possible, we also recommend including quizzes, so your employees can prove they’re truly learning it. Looking for cybersecurity training softwares to purchase? We’ve rounded up our top favorites (free and paid)!
3. Secure remote working environments
A year later, many of us are still working remote. And when employees are working remote, the business has less oversight. It’s important that business leaders find a way to navigate this environment, because it’s easier for things to fall through the cracks. If you can, we recommend providing employees with a work computer rather than them using their own. That way you can set up firewalls and antivirus software, and their work is protected. We also suggest requiring remote employees to use a free VPN, so your team’s connection is secure.
4. Backup your data
We can not stress this one enough! This is where cloud solutions can really come in handy. If a breach were to occur, having your data backed up will ensure you’ll be able to get access back. For the best security, we recommend having a few copies of your data, in different formats (like a hard drive and cloud backup). It might be worthwhile to consider keeping a back up at a different location to avoid damage or break-ins.
5. Utilize secure softwares and plugins
As a small business, you might be using a variety of different systems and tools to handle workflow. However, software and plugins used to run your business can serve as a weak point in your cybersecurity plan. Make sure to thoroughly look through all of your software before you decide to use it. Check to see how often it’s updated, what reviews are online, and whether it adheres to compliance standards. You should also have a clear understanding of what data you’ll have access to and where it’s stored.
And there you have it! Simple and effective cybersecurity tips you can implement today. If you’re looking to outsource your cybersecurity prevention measures, you’ve come to the right place! We offer a variety of IT consulting solutions for small businesses, so your data will be in good hands. Contact us today!