Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention, Technology & Software

7 Important Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

If you haven’t heard, cybersecurity is one of the most significant issues in the business world today. With losses reaching $6 trillion in 2021, more damage than ever is occurring because of cybercrime. The question is, are you doing enough to protect your business to ensure your company’s safety online?

If you want to do more to protect your company’s internet security, this post will help. Below areĀ seven cybersecurity tips that will help your business.

1. Enforce a Password Policy

One of the most common mistakes people make when securing their accounts is not taking password strength seriously. Most people don’t like to memorize all the different passwords they need. Because of that, they use memorable passwords and reuse the same password across all their accounts.

While doing this is convenient, it’s also a serious security concern. Memorable passwords often include personal information relevant to the user. If a hacker figures this information out, your accounts will get compromised.

Things are worse when you reuse the same password. You only have to guess a password once to gain access to every account a person has.

That’s why it’s critical to enforce a password policy. Set a minimum complexity for passwords and force your employees to use different passwords for each account.

2. Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

Your job with passwords isn’t complete when you start enforcing a password policy. Even if strong passwords do a great job at stopping hackers from guessing passwords, they won’t prevent all password theft.

That’s where two-factor authentication (2FA) helps. When you set up 2FA, any account you log in to will send a secondary login code to a personal device. A 2Fa service primarily sends authentication codes through email, text message, and authenticator applications.

Unless you have access to a device or account where these codes are sent, even a password isn’t enough to log in to an account.

3. Install a Firewall

If you have an office for your business, you can’t afford to let just any internet traffic flow in and outside of your company network. There is malicious activity everywhere. You need to be able to see malicious traffic to stop it in its tracks.

A firewall is what lets you do this.

Your firewall sits in front of all internet traffic that happens on your company network. The firewall you use will have a database of known malicious threats on the internet. If it sees one of those threats, it will block the traffic.

Your firewall can also limit access to websites on the internet. This means your employees won’t be able to visit unknown malicious websites and download viruses and malware.

4. Update Your Software

Most software will come secure out of the box. Software companies invest a lot of time and money to ensure the products they provide customers won’t get them in trouble.

While this is all well and good, a piece of software that’s secure today may not be secure tomorrow. Hackers are always on the hunt for new exploits in software. If it’s an exploit that was never discovered before, a company’s software will become compromised.

That’s why you need to regularly update every piece of software you install on your computers. These updates provide security patches that address new security flaws. If you don’t run these updates, you’ll expose your company to more risk.

5. Install Anti-Malware Programs

Even if you have a firewall on all your work computers, that doesn’t mean it will stop all malicious traffic. From time to time, your employees will end up downloading something they shouldn’t. If that file is malicious, it can infect all your computers with malware.

That’s why you need malware protection on every individual work computer. This software will scan all files downloaded to the computer for threats. If it finds one, it will remove the file from the system until you can examine it in quarantine.

6. Educate Your Employees

Believe it or not, your employees are your biggest concern when securing your company against cyberattacks. Not everyone knows what actions to take to stay safe online. You can never know for sure when someone will make a mistake that compromises your business.

That’s why employee education is critical for preventing cyberattacks. When your team knows what they can and can’t do on the internet, you can rest a little easier knowing you have a smaller chance of getting hacked.

You should leave no employee out of the picture when it comes to internet safety education, either. Require every employee to go through your security training before they get on the job. You can either do an online class or hold in-person events to teach people what they need to know.

7. Invest in a Security Audit

Sometimes your IT team will get tunnel vision when they work on your security system for so long. It’s easy for people to think something is perfect after spending so much time working on a problem. The question is, are they right, or did they make a mistake?

It’s always a good idea to get a second opinion before you declare your company network secure. An operations manager likeĀ Roxanne Pipkin Tamayo at a managed IT services company can put you in touch with their security team to get an audit on your cybersecurity setup.

Once they complete their audit, they’ll give you a report that lets you know about any issues with your network setup. From there, you can fix things yourself or continue working with the business security team to resolve the security problems.

There Are More Cybersecurity Tips You Can Use

There is a lot more to securing a business than the cybersecurity tips above. The security landscape is constantly changing as new security threats get discovered. Stay up to date and implement new security methods to keep your company safe in the future.

Are you looking for more advice that will help you successfully run your business? Check out the latest blog posts to find more great posts.