High-profile security breaches in the news have large companies panicking about the state of their cyber security policies for fear of losing investors, customers, and revenue. But just because attacks against small businesses aren’t in the news doesn’t mean there’s nothing to fear: a 2016 report by Symantec revealed that 43% of cyber attacks targeted small businesses. Even if you don’t have the resources for enterprise-level security solutions, there are still a range of things you can do to mitigate your risk of an attack.
1. Protect Your Wifi
Your wireless networks should be available to those who need them and closed off to those who don’t, period. Ensure that your WiFi is private and password protected, and even prevent the name from being seen via router settings. Also, use a firewall as a first line of defense. If you need an open network for customers or visitors, make it separate from the one your employees use.
2. Keep Software Updated
Outdated software is easier for hackers to work with, as they’ve had more time to work out its security flaws. Keeping everything up to date is critical in minimizing your business’s risk of a successful cyber attack.
3. Institute Password Best Practices
Your employees can play a huge role in protecting the business against data security breaches, and the easiest step to understand is ensuring that passwords are secure and changed often. Make sure that they’re using different passwords for different accounts, and that they’re never sharing their passwords, inadvertently or on-purpose.
4. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Whenever possible, opt for two-factor authentication on emails, software, chat tools, and more. A strong, unique password is the first step, but even the most secure string of numbers, symbols, and letters of all cases is susceptible to keylogging and other tricks. Make it part of your company policy to enable two-factor authentication on all accounts, old and new.
5. Encrypt Everything
Make it as hard as possible for cyber criminals to access your data by encrypting drives and communication. For emails, encrypt attachments and set the message to expire after a set amount of time. For physical devices, encrypt drives that store company data so that, even in the case of theft, data will remain out of the attacker’s reach.
6. Lock All Devices
Speaking of physical devices, sometimes the most obvious defense is the most effective. Password protect computers, tablets, phones, and anything else that has access to company information, and follow those password best practices that you’ve already set in place. If devices get lost, stolen, or are otherwise removed from your control, you should be able to wipe them remotely.
7. Back Up Data Regularly
Part of mitigating risk is making sure that you’re able to bounce back as quickly as possible after an attack. Backing up valuable company data is vital to getting everyday processes back online and keeping control of employee and customer data, even after a devastating data breach.
8. Educate Your Employees
Most of all, keep your employees in the loop. Educate them about the importance each of the cyber security solutions you implement, as well as how to be vigilant about keeping data safe.
Are you ready for a data security breach in 2018? Keep your small business safe by implementing some or all of these security solutions.