When it comes to your small business, you’ll do just about anything to protect it, right? Well, this protection should include a plan to protect against cyberattacks. So what exactly is a cyberattack? A cyberattack is an unauthorized attempt to expose, destroy or access your data. Where do you begin? Lucky for you, we’ve broken down seven (pretty simple) ways to protect your small business from cyberattacks, so let’s dive in!
of organizations have been infected with ransomware, or other malware, as a result of employees web browsing.
We all know that knowledge is power, so do just that — educate yourself on cybersecurity. There are free cybersecurity workshops available for small business owners, as well as self-guided online courses in cybersecurity basics.
Have a Cybersecurity Game Plan
Now that you’ve made yourself a bit smarter about cyberattacks, it’s time to develop a cybersecurity game plan. Your cybersecurity plan for your small business should include an employee training program of some sort — share the knowledge. The first step in securing your network is to make sure your employees understand policies and procedures around security. Your best bet is to schedule yearly or semi-yearly refresher courses to keep security top of mind.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
Did you know that wi-fi equipment is not secure when you first purchase it? Did you also know that you should not keep the default password that comes with your device? There are resources online for hackers to access default passwords based on the model numbers of popular routers and you don’t want to get caught in that trap!
Increase Email Security
With malicious email rates being at the highest in five years, it’s extremely important that you and your employees are paying close attention to email security. It is crucial to make sure your employees have a clear understanding of basic email safety precautions, like not opening suspicious links or attachments. Basic email safety precautions should definitely be included in your employee training plan.
Think Twice About Passwords
Passwords should be at least eight characters long — also good to note, length is more beneficial than complexity. You should allow and encourage your employees to create long, unique passwords that are easy for them to remember. If your business involves highly sensitive data, you may want to require a multifactor authentication, which requires users to present at least two identifying factors, like a password and a code, before gaining access to programs or systems.
Don’t Forget About Firewall and Antivirus Software
A firewall is just that, a digital shield that prevents malicious software or traffic from reaching your network. There are several different kinds of firewalls, but they all fall into two categories: hardware and software. Some firewalls also include virus-scanning capabilities. It is very important that you install antivirus software if your firewall does not include this. Antivirus software scans your computer to identify and remove any malware that has made it through your firewall.
Partner with a IT Services Provider
Partnering with an IT Service provider can be a real game changer — businesses have become more familiar with managed services and are turning to them more and more for management of certain IT function, specifically email hosting, storage, backup and recovery, and network monitoring. The demand for managed services shows no signs of slowing down — an increasing number of small and middle market businesses are leveraging Managed IT Services for a variety of reasons today: to gain access to newer technologies, to realize better uptime and to free up internal IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.