Every business is vulnerable to a cybersecurity incident, whether it’s an internal data breach or a ransomware attack from a malicious outsider. In fact, almost 50 percent of US businesses have experienced a cyber attack, and this statistic is only expected to grow. But what are the major security challenges facing small businesses, and how can you avoid becoming another statistic? Let’s take a look.
Cybersecurity challenges facing small businesses
While every business faces unique challenges, here are two of the most significant security concerns facing all businesses across the US.
- Data breaches: Whether it’s human error or a deliberate cyberattack, data breaches are a serious concern for every business.
- Data and network security: With so many employees working from home, it’s more challenging than ever to secure your network, devices, and business data. For example, remote workers are responsible for around 20 percent of data breaches.
As you’ll see, these challenges are connected. The good news? So is the solution. With these concerns in mind, here are five simple ways to increase your company’s cybersecurity and reduce your vulnerability to malicious threats.
1. Provide cybersecurity training
Your employees can’t help defend your business against cybersecurity threats if they don’t know what they’re looking for, so security training is a must.
- Teach employees how to spot common cyber threats such as phishing emails.
- Encourage your staff to use strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Ensure there’s a point of contact for staff to approach if they have security concerns.
2. Encrypt business data
Encryption allows you to “scramble” data to transfer it safely. Only someone with the right credentials can “unscramble” this data and view the file. What’s great about encryption is that even if someone accesses your network and steals business data, they can’t read your files.
Encryption is a simple way to defend your data against external threats.
3. Protect your networks
Secure your networks, so it’s harder for hackers to infiltrate your system in the first place.
- Separate your public and private Wi-Fi – even if hackers access your public Wi-Fi, they can’t breach your private network.
- Regularly monitor your network for vulnerabilities and intruder attempts.
4. Perform regular updates
One of the easiest ways to protect your business from cybersecurity threats is simply ensuring you’re running up-to-date applications and software.
- Set up automatic updates for all applications and operating systems.
- Download the latest versions of anti-virus and anti-malware programs and ensure they’re always running in the background.
- If you’re not sure which updates you need, ask an IT specialist for help.
5. Create data backups
Despite your best efforts, there’s still a chance you’ll suffer a cybersecurity incident. So, ensure you back up critical business data and store it securely. Consider storing your backups on the cloud, and always use additional security measures such as encryption or multi-factor authentication to keep these copies safe.
You may also want to limit who can access backup files to avoid the risk of accidental deletion or file tampering.
With the right cybersecurity, you can protect your infrastructure, keep business data safe, and reduce the risk of data breaches. For more information on security for small businesses, contact us today.