Cyber Security 101: Tips for Small Business to Protect Data
Many small business owners are living under the perception of not being big enough to be a cybercriminals target. If you are thinking the same then we are glad that fate brought you to this bog. Today we are going to discuss how cybercriminals are not only after big corporations. There are thousands of small businesses targeted every day and their sensitive data or customer information is compromised. We will also learn the right ways for small business owners to protect their valuable data from cybercriminals.
Believe it or not, smaller organizations are always the favorite targets for cyberattacks. This is because small organizations do not have the required resources to protect their data with the same level of security established by a large corporation. According to research by Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report in 2020, almost 28% of data breaches were targeted towards small businesses.
NSCA – National Cyber Security Alliance also states that 28% of small business owners have responded to experiencing data breaches within the previous 12 months. So, if you have been unaffected by now, it because of good luck and certainly not because attackers do not aim to attack your small business. 37% of small businesses that were attacked recently faced financial loss while 25% of them filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, 10% of small businesses even closed business due to cyberattacks.
Even though a majority of small business owners has started believing that their company can be a potential target of cybercriminals but an insignificant percentage, felt the need to prepare for a data breach and the ways to quickly respond to damage.
We understand that untangling the aftermaths of a cyber-attack can be daunting. However, with some proactive and simple steps, you can protect your business from exposing the most crucial information.
Identify your Vulnerabilities
To identify your vulnerabilities and how to protect them, you first need to sit down with your internal IT staff or an external security team that can help you in auditing your current cybersecurity practices. Some of the most common areas of vulnerabilities for a small business are as follows:
Inadequate IT Staff: For a small business, cybersecurity can become an afterthought. Most of the small businesses do not keep a significant budget to fund the internal IT staff. However, if you do not have the budget to find an IT staff working in your organization you can always outsource the service. For a lower monthly cost, you can opt for external cybersecurity monitoring and protection.
Lack of Employee Training: Cybercriminals are becoming more diligent in their approach. However, the employees on the other hand are undertrained. After the coronavirus outbreak, cybercriminals started working overtime. This is because employees working from home were less involved in practicing cybersecurity hygiene. Employees eventually gave pathways to the malicious minds. Therefore, make sure your employees have a clear understanding of cybersecurity policies, the know-how to identify a phishing email from a regular business email, and other aspects that can help in protecting company data.
Insufficient Computer Network Security: While working on-site, employees’ computer security can be dealt with professional supervision. However, remote working has given employees an edge to connect the office devices with home internet. Companies should make sure that their employees are using secure and stable internet connections like Spectrum Internet Charlotte for homes, to decrease the risk of cyberattacks.
The Cybersecurity Plan
Once you have understood your current risk you are ready to develop a new procedure to minimize cyberattacks and exposure of data to malicious people.
Establish Regular Assessment: By installing vulnerability scanning tools to monitor the operation on your business websites, network, software, and other systems you can protect your data from bringing damage. Other than this using firewall, antivirus software, and VPNs can add up in the protection system.
Keep Software Updated: Make sure that the devices used for office work are always updated with the latest software version.
Back up Data: By backing up your data, especially the sensitive one, you can protect your company from loss in case of ransomware or cyberattack.
Strong cybersecurity is when the employees are well trained and educated in this matter. Make sure you teach them about the common threats and cybersecurity requirements through regular training.
Take an Active Role
Poor cybersecurity has serious consequences on your business. You need to take an active role in establishing a cybersecurity outline and protection to keep your business running.