Most small business owners may ignore the vulnerability of their small businesses to hacking, but it is a menace that’s affecting almost half of the country’s small businesses. You are taking a huge risk if you do not take the necessary measures.
Hackers can steal essential information and use it to damage your relationships with your suppliers, customers, and staff. Let’s not forget that they can also steal your money and put you out of business in an instant.
Most companies use ordinary data backup systems and install antivirus software for data protection. This works, but is pretty much a start. You need advanced measures considering that hackers are becoming more sophisticated day by day.
Here are some of the best cyber security measures to consider for your small business:
10 Cyber Security Tips to Consider
1. Secure the Networks
Consider establishing firewalls and encrypting your valuable data. Secure and hide your Wi-Fi networks and encrypt your wireless access point to preclude unauthorized access from third parties.
Hiding your network is quite easy, just set up your router or server not to show your network name (the Service Set Identifier). Also, ensure your router or server is password-protected.
2. Educate your Employees
Setting up computer protection measures without educating your users could be a big fail. Most breaches result from human error. Therefore, you’ll need to educate your employees on the cyber threats and data protection like using social networks safely.
Hold them accountable for the procedures and policies of internet security.
3. Establish Spyware, Virus, and Malicious Code Protection
This is the most basic yet crucial measure of cyber security. You’ll need an up-to-date antispyware and antivirus software installed in your company computers. They are easily available online, but beware of the con vendor.
Also, manage your software to automatically update and install the updates for extra protection.
4. Backup Data Regularly
It may seem basic but it is very important. Back up your data and don’t forget to manage it, especially for cloud storage. Cloud storage simply means storing your data in a remote locality. Third party access to your data is not easy. But before sending them to a remote server you’ll need to encrypt or protect your documents with passwords.
5. Regularly Update Your Software
Hackers quickly learn loopholes of older and outdated software versions of anti-virus softwares, operating systems, and website content management systems. To counter this, software designers regularly release patches of updates to manage detected vulnerabilities.
The updates enhance your computer’s security and functionality by tackling malware, viruses, and hacking. It’s easy to ignore regular updates, but this will go a long way in ensuring you have top-of-the-line data security.
6. Use Multifactor Authentication
Most software users use passwords for authentication. But there are quite a number of ways to validate customers’ accounts.
Today, most companies use biometric identification and verification for digital payments. It’s quite reliable.
Also, consider using security questions and/or pictures for extra protection and authentication.
7. Beware of Free Software
Free software, especially from untrusted sources, can be harmful to your business. Most times, hackers use it to gain entry into your systems. Also, some free software come with hidden viruses which could manipulate your passwords, data, or even identity.
Checking reviews from credible websites on the best software to use. Beware of your choices.
8. Protect against Business Espionage
Most small business owners ignore the risk of business espionage and hardly protect their vital data. But we can agree that many third parties – especially competitors – can have massive gains from your personal business information.
The good thing is, business espionage needs an insiders help. You can counter this easily, just limit the access of certain business information to your employees and spread your data stores.
9. Use “Tough Nut” Passwords
Basically, your passwords need to be quite difficult to crack. Make it a policy that any passwords created uses both upper and lower case letters as well as special characters and numbers. Such passwords can’t be cracked easily by most hackers. Just don’t use your birth date!
10. Use Ethical Hacking Services
There so many jobs in cyber security – one of the most common ones is ethical hacking. Ethical hackers hack into computer networks to evaluate and test its security without any criminal intent. They’ll also offer the best cyber security measures for your specific business.
Hire these professionals today and you will be surprised at how many loopholes your small business will have.
Safeguard Your Business Interests
With increasing rates of cyber attacks on small business, you need to be more careful than ever before. Cyber security could be quite costly upfront, they can be really cost-effective in the long run. It needs to be a top-of-mind priority in your small business. You can’t risk losing essential and expensive company data.
Implement these 10 cyber security measures and stay protected from sophisticated hackers.