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Improve Your Small Business Cybersecurity

No matter the size of your business, it’s time to take a closer look at your cybersecurity plan. As technology advances, cybercrime continues to advance as well, with cybercriminals coming up with new high-tech tools and methods for committing security breeches.

small business cybersecurity

This means that you need to prepare to mitigate the risk by investing in a cybersecurity plan that’s going to keep your business data safe and secure. And you’re not alone. It’s estimated that in 2019, global spending on security services and products will increase 8.7% to a total of $124 billion.

But how do you know if you’re investing enough on cybersecurity, or what security issues should you be focusing on? Here are the top takeaways when it comes to your cybersecurity strategy.

Perform regular backups

A critical part of cybersecurity is your backup plan. Otherwise, you risk having your business and customer data compromised.  One of the most common ways that cyber criminals attack small businesses is a form of blackmail like ransomware. Hackers are able to take over your network and hold your valuable business data hostage. Payment is demanded before they’ll release your computer system. If you’ve been doing backups, after removing the malware, you’ll be able to restore your files from a backup that is stored offsite.

The bottom line is that regular backups can keep your data safe from ransomware and other security breeches. To help you schedule and maintain backups, contact an IT support company in London, like Mustard IT.

Here are the key points of a backup plan:

  • Backup data daily.
  • Schedule automatic backups.
  • Store backup files both online and offline.
  • Use a cloud solution that stores data on multiple servers.

Apply software updates

For better business cybersecurity, software updates are there for a reason – to apply the latest patches and fixes to the software your business is using. Many businesses ignore these updates, thinking they’ll get to them when they have more time. Don’t make this mistake. When you ignore these updates, you’re giving hackers the perfect opportunity to take advantage of security weaknesses.

As security vulnerabilities become known, software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader, as well as internet browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, release patches immediately to users. These updates will protect your data from new risks. You’ll also need to update your security software when updates become available, ensuring that your computer network system has a highly secured top layer of safety.

Implement password policies

One of the easiest things you can do to increase your security is to have a password policy and strategy in place – it’s also cost effective without being a big hit to your security budget. You won’t be able to prevent all password threats, but you can make it more difficult for cyber hackers.

Here are some of the ways to implement a strategic password policy:

Schedule password resets

Every few weeks, schedule automatic resets of all employee passwords. New passwords should follow a complex password practice – new passwords must include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, and must be at least 8 characters or more in length.

Schedule password audits

Performing regular audits will help you ensure that employees are following your company’s password policy. Educate people so they have a clear understanding of the importance of secure passwords.

Set up lockout policies and password expiration

It can be frustrating and time consuming for your IT team to be constantly resetting passwords that have been entered incorrectly too many times or have expired. But it’s going to be even more costly and time consuming when a security breech is caused by a password issue.

Use two-factor authentication

Utilize the added security layer of two-factor authentication (2FA) for your most sensitive accounts and logins. 2FA can significantly increase cybersecurity throughout your business. The process is as simple as entering a code to the user’s email account. This strategy is for employees who work outside of the office. It ensures that the person accessing the account has authorization and isn’t a cyber hacker.

Delete old, unused accounts

Regularly audit user accounts and delete those that are no longer in use. Otherwise it’s easy for an unauthorized user to gain entry into your computer network by using old login credentials. By eliminating the opportunity, you eliminate the risk.

Provide employees with cybersecurity training

Phishing, data breeches, and ransomware attacks are all a serious threat to your business. It’s important to train each of your employees and understands what they can do to avoid cybersecurity threats and attacks.

The basics

At the very least, make sure employees understand the basics of cybersecurity. This includes best practices for computer use, how to use their own personal devices in the office, and how to recognize suspicious activity.

Internet business cybersecurity

Employees are going to access the internet for both business and personal use. Make sure they know how to be safe when they’re online. This includes safe browsing, safe email practices, how to recognize a phishing attack, and the importance of using encrypted connections.

Device security

Educate your employees to think before they act. They need to understand the best way to use their computer’s USB drive as well as the correct way to share information within the office and with your customers. You’ll also want to implement clear guidelines and rules about installing software and WIFI access for personal use.

Final words on small business cybersecurity

Your small business is just as vulnerable to security breeches as big companies. When your data is compromised it will cost you time and money to recover. In fact, many small businesses that have fallen victim to a cyberattack end up closing their doors because they’re unable to recover.

Don’t let this happen to you. Review your current cybersecurity plan and budget – then implement some of the strategies listed here to increase your security so you can mitigate the risks.

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