Ways To Improve Your Small Business Cyber Security
Small businesses can often present ideal scenarios for cyber criminals, typically having a moderate amount of data - with minimal security. Information hacked from businesses can be used against both the business and their customers.
An overwhelming 87% of small business owners think they’re safe from being hacked, but your business may be at risk more than you realise. About half of all small businesses have experienced a cyber attack between 2016-2019.
In addition to this, online threats have risen by 37% over the past months as the COVID-19 outbreak has provided new opportunities for cyber criminals. There have been reports of text messages and emails appearing to look like they are from the NHS/Government related to the COVID-19 outbreak, encouraging the receiver to click on the link provided. It is of paramount importance for you to have an understanding of how to identify Phishing so you can help protect yourself and your business.
In this blog, we will be going over some useful tips to improve your cyber security and help defend your business from cyber attacks.
Cyber Security Plan
A cyber security plan can help you reduce the risk of losing customers, their trust, income and most importantly reduce the risk of their personal information falling into the wrong hands.
Employees need to be able to recognise and deal with the seriousness of cyber security threats. Taking the time to train your team when it comes to cyber security awareness is the first step in creating the ideal cyber security plan. Things like new employee orientation that covers the importance of passwords and being careful with links and attachments is an efficient way to train your employees.
Data can be stolen in various ways; such as phishing emails, system vulnerabilities and old hardware. Also, small businesses aren’t the only ones that should be worried about cyber attacks as schools are also affected. We have useful tips available on how to improve your school’s online security.
Ensure your employees have strong, unique passwords for each of their business accounts. You can use a password manager to help generate unique passwords and to keep them all in a safe place if you might forget them. Also, make sure when your employees are setting up passwords that they set up two-factor authentication wherever possible. This will require a two-stage sign-in process adding another layer of security to accounts.
Share what you learn regarding cyber security, keep employees up to date with recent discoveries and ways to mitigate threats.
We all know we should back up our data regularly, but not enough of us do. It’s often hard to prioritise this when other matters are knocking on your door. Try and use the 1-2-3 method, and if you can automate your back-ups then once it’s initiated, it’s done.
If any of your data is stored in the cloud, then make sure it is secured. Use encryption and passwords to protect all your important information. There are lots of different ways to store information, read more in our blog post to help you figure out how your business should back up data.
There are three main types of wireless encryption; WEP, WPA and WPA2, with WPA2 providing the most security. WEP encryption has long been unable to meet today’s security requirements so avoid this at all costs.
Segment your user base. Who will be using the WiFi you have? Are their needs the same? If you have customers on site why not create a separate network for them, This will help prevent unwanted access to business information.
Firewalls such as our FortiGate products are specifically configured to prevent unauthorised access to an individual system or a network of computers. All messages, whether they are coming from an external source or leaving the system, are passed through the firewall and if they do not pass the specified criteria they are discarded, working as a filter to block suspicious and unsafe traffic.
Hackers can steal Business IP, customer and employee details and even money, which can also damage your relationship with employees and customers, with the worst case scenario being a company going out of business. Small businesses affected by a significant cyber attack are more likely to go out of business within six months.
In conclusion, help to prevent your business from being a cyber crime victim by creating a comprehensive cyber security plan. Ensure all members of staff are educated on protecting their data because it could potentially be the downfall of your business that you have worked so hard to build.