When a large corporation suffers a massive data breach, it makes headlines. However, when small businesses (SMBs) face cyber attacks, you rarely hear about it in the news. It’s easy, then, for some SMB owners to get lulled into complacency thinking that hackers are only interested in huge companies.
Unfortunately, the truth is that SMBs across the globe suffer damaging attacks from cybercriminals every day. While you shouldn’t panic, you should treat this danger with urgency.
In fact, there are a number of cybersecurity measures you can start implementing right away that could save your company from an attack.
Get a strong firewall
Your firewall is probably the most effective method of keeping unauthorized individuals from accessing your network. If an outside user or software program does not meet your security parameters, your firewall will block them from compromising your network and gaining access to sensitive data.
If you have employees who work remotely or travel, be sure that their equipment has the necessary firewalls in place so they have the same protection even when they’re out of the office.
Back up your data
Not having a backup plan in place is just not an option anymore.
There are a number of instances, from human error and natural disasters to cyber attacks and system failures that can wipe out data. All the information in your computer system should be stored in at least one other place, preferably in the cloud.
With secure copies of your information on the cloud or in a second physical location, you can restore your systems quickly with minimal damage or downtime. Be sure that your backups occur as frequently as possible so you always have access to the most recent data in your system.
Install & update anti-malware software
Anti-malware software programs can block all kinds of threats. However, you need to make sure you install regular updates and patches as soon as you receive the notification from the software companies. To ensure you always have the latest versions of these programs, set up your software so it can automatically receive manufacturers’ updates or have an IT specialist manage this for you.
Schedule security training
Create a schedule for required security training for all of your staff members. Providing security training to all your employees at regular intervals is key to preventing a number of security issues.
In these training sessions, be sure to include best practice topics such as:
- Creating unique passwords for computers and mobile devices
- Downloading and updating security apps for all mobile devices
- Encryption for company data on mobile devices
- Recognizing the early signs of a data breach
- Avoiding phishing schemes and suspicious emails
Be should everyone understands the strategies of cybercriminals and know how to guard sensitive information. By prioritizing security as a company, keeping your employees trained and holding them accountable, they can be the first line of defense against cyber threats.
Many digital thieves strike SMBs because they think they’ll be more successful in attacking smaller companies than large ones. However, by taking a proactive approach to your cybersecurity, you’ll be able to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and keep your business safe.
If you’re not comfortable with installing firewall solutions, designing a backup & recovery plan, setting up recurring antivirus software updates or don’t have a seasoned IT professional on your staff, be sure to reach out to a trusted MSP to manage all of this for you.