Keeping your business secure in a digital world comes with many challenges. When cyber threats are growing at an unprecedented rate, knowing how to keep your business secure has never been more important. It’s no secret that cyber criminals target businesses of all sizes. In fact, small businesses are often the target of cyberattacks due to their limited resources and smaller security budgets. There is no such thing as perfect security, but you can reduce your risk by implementing effective cyber security solutions in your business. As a small business owner, it is important to have a solid understanding of the potential risks and what you can do to mitigate them. Read on to discover some easy-to-follow steps for achieving a positive cyber security posture for your business.
Educate Your Employees
In most cases, attacks begin with tricking an unsuspecting employee. That’s why it’s so important to educate your employees on the latest security threats and how to stay protected. This way, you can reduce the risk of falling for a phishing scam that could lead to data breach and identity theft. Some ways you can educate your employees include:
- Hiring IT Professionals – If you’re not equipped to handle the security of your business, it’s important to hire professional IT services. Make sure to hire a reputable company that has the experience needed to protect your business from cyber threats.
- Create a Culture of Cyber Security From the Top Down – It’s important to make cyber security a top priority in your business. Begin with creating a security policy that outlines the risks your employees should look out for and how they can avoid them.
Install an Effective Firewall
A firewall is a critical piece of tech that protects your company from malicious threats. It acts as a barrier between your network and the internet. Firewalls are typically installed on your network’s gateway. When a request is made from the outside, the firewall verifies it and decides whether to block or let it through. Firewalls are installed on both computers and networks. In fact, most modern operating systems, such as Windows 10 and MacOS, have built-in firewall protection. If you are using a dedicated firewall, make sure to keep it up-to-date. Firewalls come in different forms, but the most common is a network firewall, which is installed on an internet router. Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) are commonly used in businesses and can be installed as a software or hardware solution.
Use Strong Passwords and 2-Factor Authentication
Passwords are the first line of defense against cyber threats. It’s important to use strong passwords that are unique to each account. Avoid reusing the same password across multiple accounts. You can use a password manager like LastPass to keep track of your passwords and save you the stress of remembering them. Make sure to update passwords every few months or after they’ve been breached. Be sure to use 2-factor authentication whenever possible. It’s an added layer of security that will prevent hackers from accessing your accounts.
Ensure Up-to-date Backups of Your Data
If your data is lost or stolen, it can be devastating for your business. A data breach can cost your company millions and have a lasting effect on your brand. It’s important to have a backup plan that safeguards your data from potential threats. Ensure your data is on an off-site server and has regular backups.
Install a Virtual Machine for Extra Security
A virtual machine (VM) is a software program that lets you create virtual computers within your computer. This allows you to create a separate environment for handling sensitive information. A VM acts as a firewall because it creates a barrier between your network and the VM. It’s a great way to protect your data and reduce risk by installing the VM on an isolated network where no other computers are connected.
Keeping your business secure is a never-ending process. While there are some steps you can take to protect yourself, no security strategy is 100% foolproof. That’s why it’s important to regularly analyze your security and look for ways to improve it. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest cyber threats and how they affect your company. Doing so will help you determine where your company’s cyber security is lacking and what steps you can take to improve it. It’s also important to have a plan in place for when a threat does occur.