It’s tempting to assume that cybercriminals won’t bother with your firm because it’s small. Small business owners often have the cyber security mindset of “not much to steal,” however this is entirely inaccurate and out of date with today’s best practices.
Cyber-attacks occur more frequently at small organizations than larger ones, according to a report from the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee. According to Ponemon and @Keeper’s 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, 50 percent of SMBs have experienced a security breach in the past year.
When compared to larger corporations, why are small firms targeted more frequently? If you’re a victim of identity theft, you’re most likely the target of a cyberattack. Small firms have less secure networks, making it easier for criminals to get into their systems. Tiny business size is less of a concern for hackers than network security, according to the article “Why crooks pick on small firms” on CSO.com by IDG.
Lack of time, money, and experience is cited as a major factor in the high number of SMB assaults in a CSO.com article. Employees aren’t being trained properly; security programs aren’t being updated; security isn’t being outsourced, and the endpoints aren’t being secured.
What can you do to keep your company safe from a cyber-attack? You may start using these eight cybersecurity best practices right away.
- Install a firewall
A firewall is one of the primary lines of protection against a cyber-attack. To protect their data from cybercriminals, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends that all small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) install a firewall. Many firms are now installing inside firewalls in addition to their conventional external firewalls to give additional security. Employees who work from home should also install a firewall on their home network. Consider providing firewall software and network support for home networks to ensure compliance.
- Prepare for mobiles
For a company to be compliant with BYOD regulations, it must establish a formal BYOD policy that emphasises security safeguards. This is because, as of 2016, 59% of organisations allow employees to bring their own devices (BYOD). Wearables like smart watches and fitness trackers with wireless capabilities are becoming increasingly popular, thus it’s critical that they be covered by an insurance. Security experts at Symantec advise small organisations to mandate automatic security upgrades for all devices connected to the network, which Norton by Symantec believes is a good idea.
- Enforce strong passwords
Yes, updating passwords is a nuisance for employees. 63 percent of data breaches, according to Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, occurred because of stolen, lost, or otherwise insecure passwords. SMBs with password policies, according to Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute, are failing to enforce them. The use of BYOD means that all devices that connect to the workplace network must have a password.
Employees should be compelled to use passwords that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, according to Siber Systems vice president of marketing and business development Bill Carey. SMBs should update passwords every 60 to 90 days, according to him.
- Obtain anti-malware tools
Assuming your staff are aware that phishing emails should never be opened is an easy mistake to make. A 7 percent rise in phishing email opens from 2015 to 2016 was documented in the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report. Anti-malware software must be installed on all devices and the network to protect against phishing assaults, which install malware on the employee’s computer when the link is clicked. The Entreprenuer.com article “5 Types of Employees Often Targeted by Phishing Attempts” provides a list of SMB employee jobs that are frequently the target of phishing attacks. As a part of your training, apply these strategies.
- Listing Your cyber-policies
When it comes to cyber security, small firms tend to operate based on word-of-mouth and intuition. The SBA’s Cybersecurity portal offers online training, checklists, and information tailored to the needs of small firms doing business online. With the help of the FCC’s Cyberflaneur 2.0, you may begin to build a cybersecurity plan. Consider joining the C3 Voluntary Program for Small Businesses, which includes a complete toolbox for defining and documenting cyber security best practises and cyber security policies.
- Educate all team
When it comes to SMBs, it’s imperative that all employees who have access the network are trained on the company’s network cyber security best practises and security regulations.
Because fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated, it is critical to receive regular updates on new protocols as the policies change. Doing so will ensure that each employee is held accountable for their activities, and it will also help ensure that they are aware of the consequences if they don’t follow security regulations.
- Save data frequently
Despite the importance of preventing as many attacks as possible, no security system is impenetrable. Word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial information, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files should all be backed up, according to the SBA’s recommendations. Make a copy of everything you’ve got on the cloud, just in case. In the event of a fire or flood, be sure to have a backup of your data stored somewhere else. To guarantee that you have the most recent backup if you need it, you should routinely check your backup to make sure it is working properly.
- Use multifactor ID
No matter how well you prepare, a security mistake will be made by a staff member, putting your data at risk. Matt Littleton, Microsoft East Regional Director of Cybersecurity and Azure Infrastructure Services, says enabling the multi-factor identification settings on most major network and email products is straightforward to accomplish and adds an additional layer of protection. Since a thief is unlikely to have both the PIN and the password, he suggests using employees’ mobile phone numbers as an additional layer of protection.
The goalposts of security are always shifting. Every day, cyber criminals get better and better at what they do. If you want to keep your data safe, it’s imperative that each employee prioritize cyber security. Keep an eye on the latest threats and new security measures to ensure that you’re protected. In the end, it’s your livelihood at stake.