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Effective IT Cyber Security for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
March 22, 2022
Cyber security is a key concern for small businesses these days. In fact, the average cost of a cyber attack for small businesses is over $25,000. That’s a lot of money even for a huge multinational, and it can be crippling for a small company.
The online world brings a lot of benefits for small businesses like easy access to new markets, improved communication, and cost savings. However, with that comes the risk of cyber attacks. If you want to take full advantage of those benefits while also protecting your business, improving your cyber security is crucial.
Follow these simple tips to boost your security immediately.
Teach Good Security Practices to Employees
The most important part of improving your cyber security is making sure your employees are on board. They need to be aware of the dangers of cyber attacks and know how to identify potential threats. That means teaching them good security practices, like not clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources, using strong passwords, and being careful with their personal information. Remember to stress the importance of physical security too. If somebody breaks into the office or steals a laptop, this can give them access to sensitive data.
Update Key Security Tools
There are many security tools you can use to protect yourself like antivirus software and better web browsers. However, if these security tools are not updated regularly, they lose their effectiveness. Updates are rolled out as cyber criminals change their methods and find new ways to crack security software. So, if you ignore the updates, you leave vulnerabilities in your system. To stay safe, make sure you update your software and firmware as soon as new updates are available.
Use Firewall Protection for Your Internet Connection
A firewall is an essential security tool that all businesses must use. It acts as a shield between your computer and the internet, blocking unauthorized access. There are many different types of firewall software available, so make sure you choose one that is right for your business. If employees are working from home, make sure that they have the right firewalls in place too.
Create a Mobile Device Strategy
Many employees will use mobile devices to access sensitive work-related documents. If you don’t have a strategy for mobile devices, you’re leaving your business open to attack. You need to set up rules about what type of information can be stored on mobile devices and how they should be protected. You should also have a plan for what to do if a mobile device is lost or stolen.
It is becoming more common for people to use their own devices. This benefits your business and saves money, but you need to ensure that employees are properly protecting their devices and following good security practices.
Back up all Data
No matter how good your security is, there’s always a risk of something going wrong. That’s why it’s important to backup all your data regularly. If you experience a cyber attack or data loss, you can restore the information from your backup. You need an automatic backup every week, at the very least.
Password-Protect all Computers and Devices
One of the simplest but most effective ways to improve your cybersecurity is to password-protect all your computers and devices. All employees should have their own individual accounts that only they can access.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks
If you have a Wi-Fi network in your office, make sure it is secure. Encrypt it with a strong password and change it regularly. Disable the guest account and make sure all devices are using the latest security updates.
Follow Security Protocols on Payment Cards
Payment systems are a prime target for cyber criminals. That’s why it’s important to follow security protocols when using payment cards. Make sure you use a secure payment gateway and work with your bank to implement anti-fraud measures.
Limit Access to Sensitive Data
Not everyone in your business needs access to sensitive data. Restrict access to only those who need it and make sure that employees are aware of the consequences of mishandling sensitive information. If fewer people have access to data and it is not shared as often, the risk of it being compromised is greatly reduced.
Require Regular Password Changes
One way to make it more difficult for cyber criminals to access your data is to require employees to change their passwords regularly. This will help to prevent them from using the same password for multiple accounts. You should also implement two-factor authentication where possible.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your business safe from cyber criminals. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.
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