Once, it might have been easy to assume that a smaller business didn’t need as much cyber protection as a larger company. After all, you may not have had any high-profile clients. As such, there is a good chance that you wouldn’t have had too much access to sensitive information.
Well, times have changed and these days, everyone is fair game to hackers and other cybercriminals. To top it off, although you may not realize it, there is also a good chance that you are in possession of more significant information than you might have imagined.
It is for all these reasons, and more, that you should take steps to protect your small business from cyber attacks. Not quite sure how to manage this? Well, simply follow the guidelines mentioned below.
Protect the Hardware
When most people think of cybersecurity, they think of computer-based attacks. This is why all of the precautions they take is to safeguard the digital aspects of the business. While this is certainly important, it isn’t the only element to focus on.
Understand, if people were to steal your hardware, they would be able to get their hands on some rather sensitive information. In fact, this avenue would probably be a lot easier for many criminals than trying to hack their way in.
Thus, you need to take the necessary precautions to keep your hardware safeguarded at all times. In many instances, the easiest way to do this is to keep the machines in a locked room when no one is in the office. At the same time, being able to track your devices, should they get stolen, is a useful trick as well.
Create a Culture Focused on Cyber Security
What many companies fail to appreciate is that, for the most part, cybersecurity is in the hands of your employees. Therefore, it is important that your employees are trustworthy and are trained in the ways of cybersecurity.
First things first, however, you need to be careful about the individuals you hire. It is important to run background checks and ensure that they haven’t been arrested or associated with any crimes. In particular, watch out for individuals who have been accused of blackmail, fraud, and similar crimes. They may end up being repeat offenders and so, it is best not to hire them.
This alone, isn’t enough, though. You have to train your staff to be aware of the most common cyber crimes. Furthermore, they need to be aware of just how important security measures are and to enact them each time they access the system.
Restrict Admin Rights
Even if you trust your employees explicitly, you still have to protect the sensitive information in your possession. Not to mention, there are certain aspects of your operation that shouldn’t be viewable to your employees. This is why you need to set up admin accounts, where only a limited number of people can view and change elements of the system.
Setting up the admin accounts is just the first step. Such a feature is of little use if everyone in the workplace has access to these accounts. Thus, you need to create strong and unique passwords that are given to only one or two higher-level employees. These individuals should be instructed to not share this information with anyone. They will also need to change up the passwords on a regular basis.
Get the System Tested
Prior to actually putting any security measures in place, you need to know just where your system should be buffed up. To figure this out, hire individuals to test out your security system. They will then be able to tell you what parts are working and what elements need to be improved on.
This testing shouldn’t be a one-time thing, nonetheless. You should ensure that the system is prodded every now and then, just to make sure that everything is working the way that it should. It is only by being vigilant that you really will be able to ward off attacks.
Have the Right Security Measures in Place
As far as cyber crime goes, firewalls can often be your first line of defense. So, you need to make sure that you have the best possible software for your business. In certain instances, this may mean having to pay a little more. However, it will end up paying back in the form of a secure network and your peace of mind.
Most computers these days already have some form of defense system in place. This often includes anti-virus and anti-malware as well. However, such free options may not be robust enough for your small business. As a result, investing in a top, the tried-and-true paid version will offer up the best results for you.
Encrypt the Data
It isn’t enough to just have strategies in place to prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. Since there is no way to guarantee this a hundred percent, there is another strategy to consider. This is encryption, ensuring that no one can read your data except for the authorized parties.
Full-disk encryption is the best way to go as it covers the files and documents on all the devices. Of course, this can be a bit cumbersome to do, especially for those who aren’t used to such tech. Still, it offers you the best level of protection.
At the very least, make sure that you use an email server that offers top-notch encryption. Thus, even if someone were to intercept this form of communication, they will not be able to get their hands on anything even remotely useful. In the digital age, you can’t afford to be negligent when it comes to cybersecurity. Also, the bare minimum simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Instead, you need a robust and well-tested security system in place to ensure that all sensitive data remains protected. While this may take some effort, there are several benefits involved. Not only will your data be secure but your clients will also appreciate the added measures taken.