The time most companies think about cybersecurity is after suffering a cyberattack. Whether your website was hacked or sensitive information was stolen, these are scenarios you could have avoided with some preparation.
Cybersecurity needs to be a priority and not a back burner task that you keep putting off.
Here’s the good news:
It’s not hard to protect your company from some of the most pervasive threats. Familiarize yourself with the cyberattacks that could harm your company and see where your business stands with its current level of protection.
Once you know if your company and website are secure, you can decide where to improve your practices — for example, training employees or implementing stricter access policies.
Read on to learn more about cybersecurity, including:
- Why cybersecurity is important
- Cyberattacks to know
- Four security tasks to execute
Why Small Businesses Need To Prioritize Cybersecurity
Hackers have been targeting small businesses at an increasing rate over the past decade. BullGuard found that 60% of small business owners didn’t believe cyberattacks would target their company, but 18.5% had fallen victim to one in the past year.
Plus, the FBI reported cybercrimes went up exponentially due to the pandemic.
It’s easy to ignore the statistics until they happen to you. IBM found that the top cause of data breaches, with 63% of cases, is due to negligence.
Cybercriminals know small businesses are more vulnerable. So take the time and money now to protect your company, so it doesn’t cost you more money and time later.
Cyberattacks To Know and Prepare For
An essential step to being prepared for an attack is to know the enemy. Here are a few of the most common cyber threats:
- Phishing usually involves a fake email or website designed to trick people into divulging personal information.
- Malware is short for malicious software, and it is used to corrupt computers, servers, and networks with viruses and other attacks.
- Ransomware holds your data for a price. It locks you out and demands a ransom to give you access.
- Man in the middle attacks take advantage of insecure transactions and steal personal or financial information.
As the internet and software continue to evolve, so will hackers. Stay afloat with the latest threats so you can continue to be prepared.
4 Security Practices To Implement
Stay protected from digital threats by taking the following precautions.
1. Do an Audit of Your Company’s Cybersecurity and Make a Plan
The best place to start with your cybersecurity is by doing a comprehensive assessment of your current security level. This check could be what you already have in place and an inventory of the sensitive information that needs the most protection.
See if there are any tasks you can quickly take care of, such as installing a security plugin or scheduling scans consistently.
Then work on creating a plan for the more significant necessities, such as:
- Finding a more secure web host
- Instilling policies for your employees
- Updating your antivirus software
2. Train Employees
Security training is worth the time and money for how much it could protect your company.
Not everyone in your company might be tech-savvy. Learning how phishing scams work or best practices for passwords is essential information every employee needs to know. And it’s best if they learn these processes directly from your company, so they know what you expect.
Also, with the amount of remote work increasing, cybersecurity needs to extend outside the office to employee homes.
3. Have Strict Access
Fortify every access point in your company, whether controlling permissions and user roles or instilling multifactor authentication for essential portals. Safeguard access to sensitive information on a needs basis.
Have passwords automatically reset after a certain period to force your employees to change them. And encourage your employees to create strong passwords with a generator, such as Dashlane or LastPass, for example.
4. Stay Updated and Backed Up
Software is consistently updating and for good reason.
Not only is software working to improve, but it’s also finding and fixing security issues. Make sure your WordPress website and any other programs you use are always up to date. Otherwise, hackers can take advantage of flaws you haven’t fixed yet.
Another critical practice is always, always, making sure your information is backed up properly. This helps you stay protected against attacks like ransomware and ensures you don’t lose any valuable information.
Small businesses are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Even more so in the age of remote work, companies need to protect themselves, employees, and customers.
Learn the most prominent cyber crimes and assess your company’s current security protocols. Consider implementing a security training program and updating your access points. Make sure always to keep your software updated and information backed up.
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