Computers and Technology

Protect Your Small Business: Cyber Security Tips

More than 600,000 new businesses are going to launch this year. Some of them are tech companies, some are online businesses, and many are brick-and-mortar businesses.

But the commonality between them all is that cyber attacks will be one of their biggest threats. Whether you own an online bank or a bakery, there are hackers out there trying to steal money and sensitive information from you at all times.

Do I need cyber security for my business? Absolutely. No business is safe from the threat of attack, regardless of size or industry.

Need some cyber security tips to help keep your business secure? There are some simple steps you can take to keep your business safe and secure. Keep reading below to develop an easy and affordable cyber security strategy today.

Employee Training

One of the most important ways to implement cyber security for small business needs is to regularly train employees on best practices. You can have the most up-to-date security software in the world, but if employees constantly make mistakes, your business could suffer.

Train employees on how to log into and out of sites. Train them to identify and avoid malicious links and websites. Drill it into their heads that they cannot use the same password on every website, or use personal information like birth dates or names.

Password Management

It’s imperative that everyone in your company uses separate passwords for every website and program they need to log into. And they need to be strong passwords.

The only way this is feasible is with a password manager, like the LastPass browser extension. Using software like this, you can set unique, strong passwords for everything. You’ll manage them with one master password, that either needs to be memorized or written down on paper, not on a device.

Two-Factor Authentication

For important websites and functions, you should require your team to use two-factor authentication (2FA). To log into a site, or complete a function like downloading information or sending funds, a user would need to authenticate the action on a separate device, like their mobile phone.

This helps to ensure that hackers cannot complete these actions, as they would need the second device in order to complete it. This is one of the easiest cybersecurity tips to implement on both a personal and business level.

Email Safety

Most people spend a lot of time in their email inboxes. And this is where a lot of attacks happen. Spam emails can often look legit.

But opening them up can reveal a malicious link. Simply clicking on a bad link can give a hacker access to your computer. They can install malicious software on your device, take control of your browser, and view sensitive information.

Avoiding phishing scams is of the utmost importance. Train your team to spot suspicious emails. You can install anti-phishing toolbars to help spot bad websites as well.

Firewalls

Most companies will use their own private network, as opposed to logging onto public or shared wifi networks. By adding firewalls, you can add a layer of defense that monitors network activity between your network and other networks.

This can prevent unauthorized activity and prevent malicious attacks from coming into your network.

Use a VPN on the Go

Many people work remotely, either from home, a coffee shop, library, or airport. But public Wi-Fi isn’t always the most secure. With so many strangers on the network, the risk of attack is much higher.

If you have employees working outside of your company’s private network, have them use a virtual private network (VPN). VPN subscriptions are cheap and help to encrypt data on public networks.

Create a Custom Solution

While DIY cybersecurity is better than nothing, it’s not the most secure. If you’re dealing with lots of customer information, take online payments, or manage funds in any way, you’re going to need additional protection.

Or if you run a medium to large-sized company, with hundreds of employees using various devices on your network, you’ll need a more robust system.

To start, you’ll want to get technology strategy consulting. A consultant can help you outfit your business with the latest technology, according to your needs and budget.

They can recommend the right hardware and software to use, as well as implement the security measures you need to keep it all safe and secure.

Outsourcing your IT and cyber security needs can be the most effective option for keeping your business safe. They take care of all the hard stuff, and you’re free to focus on growing your business.

Auto-Lock on Company Devices

From desktop computers to laptops and cell phones, employees use a lot of devices. And these devices are usually logged into important websites and accounts at all times.

Company devices should all use auto-locking features to close and lock devices after a few minutes of inactivity. That way, if someone gets caught up in a conversation, but left their device open, it’s not exposed to prying eyes.

Encrypted Email

There are many email platforms you can use for your company. Choose one that automatically encrypts incoming and outgoing emails. This will allow you to send and receive sensitive information without risking it ending up in the wrong hands.

Ethical Hacking Test

You can hire a third-party company to perform a security penetration test, otherwise known as ethical hacking. This test gives the company permission to try breaking into your company’s website, accounts, and devices to try exposing information.

If they are able to hack into your system, then any other hacker out there in the world will be able to as well. When they perform these tests, they’ll be able to provide recommendations on how to improve your security systems to prevent that kind of attack going forward.

Implementing These Cyber Security Tips

Many of the cyber security tips listed above can be implemented by business owners, managers, or employees. They are cost-effective and easy enough to start.

But for maximum protection, it’s best to have cyber security build your entire security system, to ensure every component works seamlessly together, preventing any loopholes. The cost to hire a cybersecurity company now is more affordable than dealing with a major hack down the line.

Looking for more business advice like this? Head to our blog now to find other informative articles.

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