Forty-three percent of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses. Of those businesses who suffer an attack, 60% go out of business within six months of the event. This is why it is so important for small-and-medium-sized business owners to ensure they prioritize cybersecurity for their enterprises. Below, we’ll take a look at five helpful tips that you can follow to assist in navigating the world of small business cybersecurity.
Employees can either be your business’ greatest cybersecurity asset or its most treacherous risk. The deciding factor in this is up to you as the business owner - if you opt to educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices and make them aware of how to spot cyber threats, then they will become a great tool in your cyber defense arsenal. Arm your workers with knowledge regarding your company’s cybersecurity policies and expectations, resources for what to do in the event they have a question or suspect something is phishy, and also act as a role model for what good cybersecurity hygiene looks like. Set the standard by implementing strong cybersecurity best practices like complex password use, open discussions about near-misses, and more. If you need assistance with cultivating your training, be sure to reach out to a local cybersecurity firm and also Google some top tips as well! You can also keep an eye on the Tego blog for information about current events and helpful advice.
Use of Strong Firewalls
The use of strong firewalls helps to filter the traffic that is trying to access your business’ website. A firewall acts as a gate around your business, a defense set up to catch malicious actors as they try to intrude upon your thriving business. While this is the best passive step that can be taken - setting up your firewall and keeping it updated - be sure that you also use the skills of a cybersecurity team, be it your own employees or an outsourced group. This way, if some threat does make its way through, you are extra safe. The use of a firewall as a filter makes the job for your security team that much quicker and more efficient.
Conduct a Risk Assessment
Three of four small businesses state that they do not have the personnel to address cybersecurity concerns. In cases such as these, it may be beneficial for you to consult an external cybersecurity company and have them conduct a risk assessment of your company to determine what risk factors you have, how great or small they are, and where within your operation they lie. You can then use this to better develop a targeted plan of action to reduce vulnerabilities, protect against threats, and develop a recovery plan in the event of an attack.
A recovery plan, as just mentioned, outlines the steps that you and your team will take in the event of a cyber attack occurring. While preventative measures are of course the preferred means of approaching cybersecurity, a significant number of cyber attacks are specifically targeted at small businesses. This is primarily due to the fact that these malicious actors expect a smaller business to be an easy target, uneducated on cybersecurity and the various risk factors out there. They do not expect you to be able to respond to an attack the way that a large corporation can - they anticipate that you will become a statistic like the other 60% of small businesses that close up shop following an attack. Having a recovery plan makes it more likely for you and your business to survive an attack, learn from it, and prevent similar attacks from hitting you in the future. It will allow you to maintain continuity in your operations even in the midst of a cybersecurity issue.
Recovery plans should include who is involved and what actions should be taken. A major step in setting up your recovery plan is establishing backups. Backup your data regularly and save it on a database separate from your business’ main network.
Operating a small business is exciting and wonderful but it can also be dangerous in regards to cybersecurity. It is best for you to come up with preventative and reactive measures that you would take in the event of an attack now than to wait for an attack to strike down your business.
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