Having cameras installed at your small business or office is no longer enough. While necessary in-office safety measures at your place of work are still imperative, the newest needs in security stem from the cyber realm. Your small business deserves to be protected from threat, without spending all of your earnings.
Together we will explore the latest cybersecurity risks, how you can protect your business, and where you get the most bang for your buck! We will also find out if managed security services are a worthwhile or affordable idea for most small businesses.
Small Business Cyber Security Best Practices
Many businesses want to make sure their cybersecurity is up to date and useful, but either spend their budget for cybersecurity ineffectually or don’t feel they have the funds to be protected. In reality, a large portion of cybersecurity merely is about maintenance and can be done cheaply, apart from the labor of these steps being implemented.
Step 1: Password Overhaul
Perhaps you choose your passwords wisely, but what about other top-level employees. Having a basic password (or the father of all bad passwords, the word PASSWORD itself!), puts your business at risk. The same goes for all frequently used and simple concept passwords.
Another mistake is using the same password for all your accounts, perhaps at home and beyond. Use different passwords. That way, even if one account is compromised, your other accounts remain secure. Having trouble remembering different passwords? Consider purchasing a “password manager,” to keep better track. These can be under $20 to about $50.
Step 2: Remove Old Accounts
Employees come and go, but if you leave their accounts open and unused, you have a cybersecurity risk that might expose sensitive information. Your small businesses old online accounts are a risk and not as harmless as you think.
Not only could former employees gain access to confidential, current information about your business, but hackers could break into those accounts without you ever knowing (as security warnings would go to old unchecked email addresses). Cleanse your digital palate and delete and remove old accounts!
Step 3: Two-Factor Authentication
Sure, two-factor authentication can feel like a time-consuming waste of time, until you are hacked! Worse, what if the hack exposes more than general business information and leaks the private details (name, social security number, driver’s license, etc.) of you or your employees. Potentially even your client’s credit card information or private information might be revealed. When your customer base finds out, you could have a PR disaster on your hands and lose consumer trust.
How does 2 factor authentication work?
After entering in your (correct) password, you will typically be prompted to enter a code that you will receive on another device (by text or email) and then use that code to gain access. More complicated systems can also use facial recognition technology or fingerprint scan.
Step 4: Software Strong
You have software that you paid quite a bit of money for. Do yourself a favor and update it. Software updates exist for a reason. Frequently the updates contain edits to problems within systems and corrections to vulnerabilities in software.
When hackers find out software is vulnerable, they immediately use that information themselves and share it on the dark web. This means that hackers will seek out those companies who use the software so they can invade and steal credit card numbers, SSN’s, and more.
Step 5: Train Staff
Security alerts should go to specific individuals within your business, and those persons should be trained on what to look for. Also, ALL staff should be warned about what to do if they opened a suspicious email/download and told to avoid downloading or going to third-party links via email. Businesses are prime targets for hackers.
While a solution to the above might appear to be hiring a managed security service, Business Insider’s review of Trustwave’s recent survey reveal that 30% of security investments are never used or wasted. If you’re trying to save money, do the above steps consistently and save money, while still being secure. Although it’s wise to have a computer technician a call away for emergency services, a managed service won’t fix all those concerns.
Interested in searching out your small business’s web trail to see what is already on the web?
Try a reverse image search of your company’s copyrighted material and images. Or, see if your personal information has been leaked by online hackers: