Cybersecurity Best Practices Every Business Should Use
Effective and affordable cybersecurity best practices your business should be using to make sure you stay safe and stay in business.
According to a survey conducted in 2018, 43% of cyberattacks targeted small and medium businesses.
So, if you thought that you do not need to worry because yours is just a “small business,” Read that again!
Hackers are increasingly looking for weak targets, given that most small businesses do not have enough resources for Cybersecurity. As a business owner, you should know that you risk losing your company data or going down to costly breaches. It’s not just private customer data that’s at risk, even graphic design companies are at risk of losing work that could potentially add up to hundreds of hours and tens of thousands in financial loss.
Luckily, there are effective and affordable cybersecurity best practices that you can adopt to ensure the safety of your business. Let us explore some of them.
Enable firewall protection at work
Tools like security firewalls are now a must, not just for huge companies or financial corporations. The truth is that, as long as you are using a network with traffic in and out, it is crucial to protect your data. A firewall is a filter that can come in the form of hardware, software, or both. It is one of the cybersecurity best practices that will create layers of defense in protecting your assets. The tool will help block unauthorized connections and malicious software trying to infiltrate your company network.
A good firewall will monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, determining the ones to block and allowing access to your company systems based on the defined cybersecurity rules you have determined. More importantly, if you get good firewalls to protect your company networks, you will also be able to review detailed reports about your network’s traffic. This data will be useful for regulatory compliance troubleshooting issues. Using the content filtering options, you can enforce our company policies on internet usage by determining which sites your network will access.
Use strong passwords
This might sound obvious, but weak passwords are the weak link to the data breach in many companies. Hackers use very powerful tools and algorithms to try and crack passwords. Some of the common strategies are brute force, dictionary attack, Man in the Middle attack, Traffic Interception, Key logger, social engineering, etc. You do not want a scenario where someone just gains unauthorized access to your systems without even trying hard, or do you? In this regard, you need to implement strong and complex passwords to help stop cyberattacks and protect your company information. To create a strong password:
- Ensure it has at least ten characters
- It should include both upper, lower case, and numeric values
- It may also include symbols such as @ and #
- You should also ensure that you and your team regularly change the passwords.
- Ensure employees don’t use common and easy to guess events such as date of birth as passwords.
- Add a layer of authentication to your critical systems. You can use what is known as multifactor authentication to add security. In this approach, you add an auth approach like email or text verification before allowing users into your critical systems.
Implement BYOD security measures
The “Bring Your Own Device” trend has become more popular in the past few years. It comes with tons of advantages for businesses. For example, research has established that employees are more productive when using personal devices at work. Besides, BYOD will reduce the hardware and software costs for your company. While this could be convenient, it also poses cybersecurity risks, making it necessary to have tailored security measures in place.
It would be best if you had a BYOD security policy with the following essential elements:
- The acceptable use of the device to access the company information. This should include the applications and the type of personal devices that are allowed.
- The minimum-security controls for personal devices
- Company rights for altering the device, such as remote wiping for lost, stolen, or misplaced devices.
After coming up with the policies, ensure that you clearly communicate the same to your team. It is also crucial to use such critical tools as mobile device management. The tool will enable your team to remotely control the access of your company data using personal devices. It is useful since your IT team can automate provisioning and de-provisioning of devices used by your workers to access your systems. Once you can control remote access to your company information access, it becomes safer and more comfortable to control your information. Don’t ignore mobile devices in your workplace as they are a threat!
Educate your employees
Training your employees is one of the cybersecurity best practices in defense strategies. Cybersecurity awareness amongst your employees to inform them of their role in securing your company data. It is a way of making them responsible for the security of your company files. You can follow the following useful tips in creating awareness:
- Regularly talk to your employees about security to make them understand that even your small business is at risk of cyberattacks
- Make cybersecurity awareness part of the onboarding when recruiting new staff
- Hold cybersecurity seminars where security experts train your employees on the best security practices
- Provide your employees with up to date information on scams and viruses that could let hackers into your systems
- Create a response protocol in case of a data breach.
When your employees are informed, they will tend to take individual responsibility for your Cybersecurity, a feat that will reduce internal risks.
Backup your data!
Backing up your company’s crucial files and information is one of the best cybersecurity practices you need to undertake on your business. By regularly backing up your essential data, you will protect your company from losing any critical information in the event of a breach, or in case it gets destroyed. Remember, attacks can still happen. You want to ensure you have a recovery plan in worst-case scenarios.
Cybersecurity is now an essential aspect every business owner ought to take seriously. Cybersecurity is no longer a preserve of large companies. Cybercriminals are now aiming shots at small businesses too. So, beef up your cybersecurity best practices to help you avoid glitches and costs that might destroy your business.