cybersecurity tips for small businesses

Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Due to the security vulnerabilities arising from poor cybersecurity measures among small agencies, hackers and cyber criminals often target their attacks at small businesses.

Due to the minimal size of these businesses, they don’t feel the need for proper cybersecurity departments. After all, the whole organization is the size of the cybersecurity departments in larger organizations.

However, being a small organization doesn’t mean that no attention should be paid to cybersecurity. From recent findings and reports, hackers and cyber-criminals target more small businesses, because of the difficulties attached to attacking large organizations.

However, most small businesses are unaware that they don’t necessarily need to follow all the cybersecurity measures in the world. By focusing on some specific cybersecurity tips for small businesses, they can keep the workplace safe and cyber-secure for everyone.

This article will take you through all the essential cybersecurity tips for small businesses that must be practiced by both the employers and employees, in and out of the organization.

Here you go.

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Cybersecurity tips for small businesses

1.Enforcement of password security among workers

One of the biggest causes of online breaches is insecure passwords. Hackers have been able to break into thousands of account by using simple brute force algorithms.

Brute force is a process where a program is written to continuously guess passwords using a predefined algorithm. It is common among hackers and is usually the first step they usually take when trying to compromise accounts.

Some brute force algorithms may guess hundreds, or even thousands of passwords per second. To avoid been hit by a brute force attack, it’s important to ensure that passwords used to lock accounts in the organization follow the passwords security rules. They are as follows:

Password Security Rules

 Never use your name or a variation of it as your password.
 Never use a word from the dictionary, or a variation of it as your password.
 No usage of simple codes like your date of birth, state and last name (DD/MM/YYYY-State-Lastname) as your password, in short, your password must be untraceable to you.
 Never use the same password twice
 Do not share your password with anyone, not even your spouse
 Change your passwords frequently

Although, these password rules may seem too harsh or hard to follow but they must be strictly adhered to if the organization desires security. The use of a password manager might render some help here, and you check out our recommendations about password managers for Android.

Using strong passwords and keeping it secure is one of the most important cybersecurity tips for small businesses.

2.Educating employees on cybersecurity

Some of the most serious cybersecurity breaches are caused by an employee’s mistake. You wouldn’t want the same to happen to your organization, would you?

If no is the case, then you’d have to train your employees on the basics of cybersecurity.

Most people are already used to leaving their Facebook account logged in throughout the month, for easy accessibility. It might take time before they understand that it shouldn’t be like that, especially when important information like that of a business is at stake.

Setting up a three month cybersecurity training for all employees won’t be regarded too forward. It is also recommended because it would give the employees an opportunity to master the basics of cybersecurity.

Adequate training on the use of passwords, how much information to share on the internet and how often they should log out of their accounts are very necessary.

Also, setting up penalties for workers who break the company’s cybersecurity principles might help force them embrace cybersecurity.

It is very important for all employees in the organization to be aware of what they’re expected to do when they suspect a breach. Employing workers with an experience in the field of cybersecurity will easily ward off these worries.

3.Set up a cybersecurity team

I once wrote a line: “you never get to know the importance of keeping safe, until you actually get hacked!”

If you still think your organization is too small to have an appropriate cybersecurity team, think again. The reason you think so is because you haven’t being compromised.

Why not brace up yourself before it actually hits you hard then? Forget about the costs and set up an adequate cybersecurity team for your organization.

This way, they can predict, and counter attacks. Hiring cybersecurity experts after you’re hit is almost useless. Unless it’s a minor attack, they might never be able to reverse the attack!

If a cybersecurity team seems too big for your mini-company, then you can hire, or employ a cybersecurity expert.

This is a one-man cybersecurity army who is capable of singlehandedly performing the job of a cybersecurity team.

If only one cybersecurity expert is to work in the organization, he should be well versed in all cybersecurity categories, with a great deal of experience. This directly translates to higher pay; but the pay is worth it.

4.Backup your data frequently – plan for the worst

No matter how good your cybersecurity strategy is, you can never be perfectly sure that you cannot be compromised. That’s why you should prepare yourself for a cyber-attack.

When hackers attack, the only thing they usually make away with is digital information (and customer’s trust). You can get back your digital information if you were ready for the attack.

If you have an effective backup plan set up, you should have no problems recovering all lost information in a security breach.

There are many ways by which you can back up your information, but the best backup protocol is the cloud backup.

You can get a cloud backup plan by spending some bucks, and it is extremely necessary, to avoid future regrets.

You never know when an attack is being planned against you, that’s why this is one of the top cybersecurity tips for small businesses.

5.Monitor employees’ devices

Imagine you have a small business which requires the use of computer gadgets. However, you don’t have the capability to provide these devices for all the employees in your organization. In this case, you have to allow the employees use their personal devices.

If the employees are to use their personal devices, it is posing a very serious threat to the security of your organization, as they might not be following the security protocols.

The solution to this is installing monitoring software on their devices (with their permission of course). This monitoring software shouldn’t be used to access the employees’ private data. All it should do is to monitor the usage and accessibility of the company’s information, and block accessibility on unsafe networks and circumstances.

You should also call for policies which enforce strict digital security measures like changing of passwords frequently.

You should however note that this is quite risky, and could lead to more serious issues if you were found to be inadequately collecting user information.

Nevertheless, it remains one of the best cybersecurity tips for small businesses.

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Conclusion

Don’t wait till you get hit before you start planning your cybersecurity strategy. With these cybersecurity tips for small businesses, you can easily keep your little businesses out of hackers reach without worry, so more time could be dedicated to other useful processes in the organization.

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Thanks a lot for reading.

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