Are you aware that 43% of data breach victims are small businesses?
If you run a small business in 2020, know that your business is not immune to cyber-attacks, even if you think cybercriminals will not be interested.
These are the common reasons why small businesses are a target for hackers:
- Small companies underestimate the risk.
- Small businesses don’t have enough resources to defend themselves.
- Small businesses are not likely to train their employees.
- Small businesses don’t rely on IT support.
- Small businesses have a large customer base.
Now that you know that your small business is vulnerable, you have to focus on beefing up your online security lest you end up being a victim and lose your hard-earned money, customer trust, and reputation.
Let’s look into some crucial steps that you can implement to protect your business from cybercriminals.
Limit human errors
It is said that 90% of data breaches in the UK occurred due to human error in 2019. As shocking as it may sound, it is true.
Train your employees about cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities.
Warn them not to click on links in unsolicited emails and don’t use weak passwords.
Some of the leading causes of ransomware attacks are related to phishing emails, weak passwords, and a lack of training.
To create strong passwords and manage them, use the password manager tools. Also, use the latest version of the software and keep your website updated. Don’t let hackers find loopholes and exploit them.
Encrypt your data
Encrypting sensitive information such as login passwords and payment information transferred between the server and browser can prevent any third-party from accessing it.
To encrypt your data, get an SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority. You don’t have to invest much in encrypting your data. You can cheap SSL Certificate from reputed CAs and install them to safeguard your customers’ information and privacy. SSL certs do the encryption job well.
Use spam filters
As per the Statista report, spam messages accounted for 53.95% of email traffic in March 2020.
If your spam filters are not up, it is high time you apply them and prevents unsolicited emails from entering your inbox.
They can detect unsolicited, junk, and virus-infected email and send them to your spam folders. Many small businesses use them to safeguard their employees and networks.
You can apply spam filters to both inbound and outbound emails.
Install Firewall and keep it updated
There are Firewalls especially suited for small businesses. For instance, with Cisco, you can get both hardware firewalls and software and have complete endpoint protection.
If you have employees in several locations, choose the SonicWall that provides virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. SonicWall also offers a web application firewall for greater security and customization.
Whichever application you choose to use, ensure to keep it updated.
Choose secure SaaS platforms
Sharing documents via secured SaaS platforms with your coworkers is safer than emailing them directly. Cloud-based platforms use active firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems, and access controls to protect the software’s data.
Moreover, SaaS guarantees high-level uptime. It is said that companies that use cloud solutions saw a reduction in service disruptions by 72%. And they are easily accessible so you can leverage cloud technology.
Limit access to data and information
As per Varonis, 53% of companies left more than 1,000 sensitive files open to all employees
No wonder, human error is the leading cause of the information security breach.
Ensure that your employees have access only to the systems and information they require to perform their jobs.
In case an employee leaves or moves to a different company location, delete passwords and accounts from all systems immediately and collect all your business’ ID badges and entry keys.
No one can guarantee that your small business will never be hacked. But implementing all these security measures will lessen the risk.
As you have seen, human error and carelessness are the leading causes of data breaches in companies. Don’t let your negligence ruin your company’s reputation and lose all your resources.
Cybercriminals are using the latest technology to carry out their attacks. It would help if you were smart enough to outwit them and leave no loopholes for them to exploit.