5 Essential Cyber Security Takeaways for Small Business Owners

As a business, apart from implementing software-based solutions, you must adopt some technological best practices to ensure you are not susceptible to attacks. Support companies offering managed IT services such as Impact ICT can ensure your business has the right solution to protect the valuable data of your business as well as meet compliance.

Even as you contemplate hiring a consultant, it is imperative to have some ideas of what cybersecurity entails so you can make an informed choice when looking for the best services you can get. This article highlights 5 essential cyber security pointers you can consider for your small business.

1. Always Update Software

In this world of ever-changing technologies, attackers are constantly devising new approaches that identify and pinpoint vulnerabilities in systems. For that reason, business owners must keep their systems updated to avoid susceptibility to attacks. If system weaknesses are left lingering for long, then such become easy targets for hackers.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the lack of understanding of how significant updating of software is not only limited to the corporate industry. As it has been noted, individuals also contribute significantly to this problem as unprotected intelligent home devices could end up in the wrong hands. When such a case occurs, hackers often use the opportunity to conduct malicious activities like DoS attacks. Such a possible outcome underscores the need for businesses and individuals to update and protect their systems because delays in this regard often allow attackers to deploy malicious codes that give them access to sensitive information from individual devices. The outcome of this is usually ransom requests, identity theft, and loss of crucial files among others.

2. Educate Employees

Educated employees will always be on the lookout for suspicious activities within the business’s systems. For that reason, it’s essential for any business to teach their employees about various ways attackers can infiltrate the systems. That way, they’ll always be on the lookout for signs of data breach and they’ll also stay safe when using the organization’s network.

3. Implementation of Formal Security Policies

Formulating and enforcing policies that will secure your company’s network is crucial to locking down the system. For that reason, businesses need to know that network protection is vital for anyone utilizing the company’s network as users are often the endpoint for attacks. Hold seminars and meetings on the implementation of cyber security so employees know how to identify and report suspicious activities within the system.

For instance, in the seminars, employees can learn about ways to create strong passwords and prevent unwarranted access to business accounts. Furthermore, employees can learn about the ways of identifying and reporting malicious activities and suspicious emails, how to activate two-factor authentication, and how to identify and avoid malicious links within the system.

Such lessons become very instrumental for the business because attackers use employees as their point of entry into a system. However, once they are empowered and informed, the chances of attacks are minimized considerably.

4. Incident Response Plan

Incident response plans are often critical for businesses. Despite the best efforts of any company, there may be instances when it falls prey to an attack. In case such a day comes, the company, along with its employees, should be ready to handle the situation. Formulating a response plan can go a long way in identifying and quelling any form of attack.  

Incident response entails preparing for known and unknown cyber-attacks or threats, constantly identifying the causes of a security incident, and formulation of post-incident processes in cases an attack occurs. Incident response is crucial because it allows the business to develop best practices for handling incidents and establishing a plan for communication, and may also incorporate notifying law enforcement of what has happened.

Small cyber incidents such as malware attacks should not be disregarded as these could snowball into larger security issues which eventually result in breaches, loss of data, and interrupted operations. With a well-formulated incident response process, you’ll be in a position to reduce losses, prevent exploitable vulnerabilities, restore processes and systems that have been affected, and eliminate the attack vector used.

5. Antivirus Solutions

These solutions are the most popular when it comes to averting cyber-attacks. A software or hardware-based firewall can create an additional layer of protection for your company’s network, preventing any unauthorized access to your systems. While this solution may sound a cliché, protecting your network with antivirus programs can help prevent your business from potential hackers accessing your data.  

As the business invests in anti-virus solutions, it is essential to consider other security options to augment the measures already taken. For instance, you may want to consider a data backup solution as one of the measures you can take. This is significant as it ensures any data or information that was lost or compromised after an attack is recovered with ease.

Another solution to keep in mind is encryption software. This option is ideal for your business as it helps protect sensitive data such as customer information, employee records, and financial statements for the business. In other words, encryption software prevents hackers from accessing sensitive data which when breached could jeopardize your business.

Lastly, you can invest in password-security software or a two-step authentication technique. The latter is crucial as it includes a layer of protection to your system by ensuring you can verify access before it happens, reducing the possibility of password cracking.

Final Word

Although cybercrime continues to be sophisticated, you need to acknowledge that the solutions are also becoming sophisticated. Apart from the pointers mentioned in this article, there are numerous other approaches you can take to secure your network. By no means should any business be complacent when it comes to protecting its system. If you follow the right practices, you will likely be in a good position when attempts are made against your systems. If you are uncertain of where to begin, make sure you seek the services of a managed IT service partner for the best cyber solutions.


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