It’s estimated that approximately 43 percent of all cyber attacks target small businesses. Unfortunately, only about 14 percent of small businesses have the ability to mitigate cyber risks, attacks, or vulnerabilities.
Are you concerned about your small business’s cybersecurity? Are you looking for ways to improve the cybersecurity of your business? If so, you’re in the right place.
Here you are going to find an array of tips and bits of advice to help prevent cyber threats and keep your data and business protected.
1. Regularly Change and Improve the Complexity of Passwords
It’s absolutely essential to require all employees to create complex or “strong” passwords. This is going to help make them harder for hackers to crack.
This is one of the simplest cybersecurity tips on this list and something you need to enforce and check throughout your organization. Some tips to help employees create strong passwords include:
Avoid the Obvious
It’s important to stay away from obvious passwords. Don’t use sequential letters or numbers, and don’t ever use “password” as your password.
Instead, develop unique passwords that don’t include any type of personal information such as your address, date of birth or name. If your business is specifically targeted by a hacker, they are going to put every bit of information they know in their guesses.
Make the Passwords Long
This is another important factor. Don’t choose a password that’s under 15 characters. If possible, use more.
Use a Mix of Characters
The more you can mix up the letters, both lower- and upper-case, and symbols the stronger your password is. This also means it’s got a better chance of standing up against hackers.
Avoid Memorable Keyword Paths
Just like you should avoid sequential numbers and letters, avoid using sequential keyboard paths, such as qwerty. These are some of the first guesses hackers are going to use.
2. Protect Against Spyware, Viruses and Other Types of Malicious Code
It’s important to ensure that all the computers in your business have been equipped with antispyware and antivirus software and that this software is updated on a regular basis. This type of software is available from a wide array of online vendors.
All providers of this software are going to provide regular updates and patches to customers to fix any security problems and to improve overall functionality. Make sure you configure the software to install these updates automatically.
3. Spam Filtering
Did you know that implementing spam filters can keep up to 99 percent of phishing and spam emails out of your inbox? This helps to protect your business while providing a much better experience for employees and other users.
4. Secure Your Networks
It’s important to safeguard your internet connection by using a firewall and by encrypting your information If you have a Wi-Fi network, ensure it’s hidden and secure.
You can hide your Wi-Fi network by setting up the wireless access point or your router so the name of your network isn’t broadcasted, which is called the SSID – Service Set Identifier. Also, add password protection to your router.
5. Use a Business Class Firewall
On the top of your router your ISP (Internet Service Provider) installed, you need a firewall to help manage the traffic that comes into your network and what websites employees can visit on your network. This can prevent them from accidentally visiting any type of compromising website.
6. Provide Employee Education
You need to educate your employees about the various online threats and how they can help protect your business’s data, which includes how to safely use social networking sites. Based on the type of business you have; employees may be unknowingly introducing competitors to sensitive details about the internal components of your business.
Employees need to be properly informed about the best way to post online in a manner that won’t reveal any type of trade secrets to competing businesses or the public. Make sure to hold employees accountable to the security procedures and policies you have created.
7. Use a Restorable Backup Solution
When you have a reliable backup solution in place, any virus or another type of infection that makes its way into the system won’t completely paralyze your business. You are still going to have all your data available via your backup plan.
This is going to ensure your business can continue running as usual.
8. Utilize Best Practices for Payment Cards
You need to work with your banks, or other card processors, to ensure that only validated and trusted anti-fraud services and tools are used. It may also be necessary to implement additional security obligations related to the agreements you have with your processor or bank.
It’s a good idea to isolate your payment systems from other, less secure programs. Also never use the same computer to process your payments and to surf the internet.
Improve the Cybersecurity of Your Business: It’s Possible
If you are searching for effective ways to improve the cybersecurity of your business, make sure to use the tips and resources here. They are designed to ensure that any small business has a fighting chance against hackers and other nefarious individuals.
Remember, as a small business owner, you don’t have to face these threats on your own. On our site, you can find a wide array of cybersecurity-related topics, including compliance through the years.
Make sure to check back with us often, as we are regularly updating our information to ensure our users have the answers they need when they need them.