Statistics indicate that cybersecurity is a legitimate danger to small companies, but small businesses don’t always act on that knowledge. According to the 2018 Hiscox Small Business Cybersecurity Report, 47% of small businesses experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months. Cybersecurity is a serious concern, yet the report shows only 52% of businesses have a cybersecurity strategy.
Unfortunately, this “out of sight, out of mind” mentality can have terrible implications for small businesses. If you don’t effectively protect your business from cybersecurity threats, you may lose critical data about your business while damaging your brand and losing money.
Occasionally cyberattacks can be so bad that you eventually go out of business. An absence of understanding and concern is one of the biggest reasons small companies avoid putting resources to cybersecurity. It just sounds complex to use the word “cybersecurity” but it doesn’t have to be a daunting job to protect your business from cybercrime.
Start by finding out if your company is well-protected against cyber attacks or not? Maybe you are secure in some areas but lacking in others? It’s best to start by understanding where you can improve.
While most of the initiatives that a small business can take may require more than an hour to implement, it might be worth spending an hour doing a fast audit of what cybersecurity measures you already have. The first and most important step is to formulate an acceptable use policy for devices, data and the network access to your employees.
If a lack of understanding is the reason your company avoids taking cybersecurity initiatives, get in touch with Digital Insights to help you with your cybersecurity plans. Ignoring cybersecurity is not a lawful excuse just because your team lacks technical expertise. There is always a solution!
Train your employees
Training your staff correctly is the fastest way to safeguard your company from cyber-attacks. Some companies may image a foreign hacker taking exceptional steps to break into the network of a small business, but this is generally not the case. A basic phishing email may compromise your small business in many situations. Basic security measures often deter effective attacks. If you forget about big hackers for a moment and realize that emails and employees are usually the number one causes of breaches for SMBs. If SMBs spent just one hour, training their staff on basic internet hygiene like spotting phishing emails, good browsing practices, not downloading suspicious files or clicking links, it would definitely improve their cybersecurity.
Small businesses should also be prepared to prevent ransomware attacks, which occur when malware infects your computer and locks it down until a ransom is paid. Even though using anti-malware software is a good way to prevent these attacks, sometimes hackers slip right through them. We recommend backing up all your files regularly and never pay the ransom should your business be attacked. For intense situations, Digital Insights offers multiple solutions for ransomware attacks and ways to avoid them.
Improve your password strength
Having a strong password may seem like a redundant tip to small businesses but honestly, it is really important and constitutes to avoid brute-force attacks. If you’re only looking for one way to improve your cybersecurity, this is a good place to start, by keeping strong passwords. We recommend keeping a complex password with letters, numbers and symbols and even better to use complicated combinations of these. If you’re afraid of forgetting, write it down in a phonebook (old school style) and not save it on online notes. It may seem unimportant but long passwords with different symbols and capitalization of letters tend to combat brute-force attacks.
A common mistake that employees and people in general make is using the same password across several platforms and websites. This does more harm than good because it increases the possibility of your data being compromised. Strengthening your organization’s passwords immediately reduces the risk of a successful cyber attack against your business, and it doesn’t take long.
Implement multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication offers an additional layer of safety to protect your accounts beyond a username and password, generally by requiring you to enter a code sent to your mobile device or by providing a distinct safety key to your hardware. Most internet banking and loan card services, like email and social media services, give this capacity. It requires just a few minutes to enable this additional safety protection and protects your significant accounts by making sure that you access the account, not a cybercriminal who stole your password. Two-factor authentication in tech products is not difficult to enforce or look for and can assist avoid cybersecurity assaults by using it.
So, if you are a small-medium business looking to improve your cybersecurity then this is a good place to start. According to SiteLock’s annual security report, the average website is attacked 62 times a day. There is no room for excuses or overconfidence of “it won’t happen to us” in terms of cybersecurity in 2019. The no. of cybercriminals and cyber attacks have tremendously and increased and there is no hiding from it.