8 Important Cyber Security Practices For Small To Medium-Size Business
Updated · Jul 17, 2022
WHAT WE HAVE ON THIS PAGE
Important Cyber Security Practices: It is easy to believe that cybercriminals won’t target small businesses. Many small-business owners believe that cybercriminals won’t target their business because they don’t have enough to steal. This is completely wrong and contradicts current cyber security best practices.
According to U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee research, 71% of cyber-attacks occurred on businesses with less than 100 employees. Further alarming, half of SMBs suffered a security breach during the last 12 months according to Ponemon’s 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report.
But why are smaller companies targeted more frequently than larger ones? Most cyber-attacks aim to collect personal information for use in identity or credit card fraud. Larger enterprises often have considerable data to steal; smaller businesses are less secure, which makes it easier for hackers to hack into their networks. According to an expert study, cybercriminals can compromise thousands or more small enterprises by deploying automated attacks. This makes the security of the network less important than its size.
As per the experts’ research, the top reasons for small and medium-sized enterprises’ attacks are lack of expertise, budget, and time. Other causes include:
- The absence of an IT security expert.
- A lack of employee training.
- A lack of risk awareness.
- Outsourcing security.
- An inability to keep security systems up to date.
- Not being able to secure endpoints.
How can your company prevent falling prey to a cyber-attack?
In this article, we will discuss 8 excellent practices for corporate cybersecurity that you can start using immediately.
Document Your Cybersecurity Policies
Many small companies rely on word of Mouth and gut instinct. Cyber security is a critical area where it is vital to document your procedures. SBA (Small Business Administration Cybersecurity Portal) offers online training, checklists, as well information about protecting online enterprises. Cyberplanner 2.0 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides a guideline for creating your security documents. C3 Voluntary Program – Small and Medium Enterprises is also an option. This program is a comprehensive toolkit that helps you to create and document your cyber security policies.
Educate All Staff Members
Employees frequently wear several hats at small and medium-sized businesses, so everyone who accesses the network must receive training on your company’s network security policies and best practices.
Furthermore, it is essential to receive regular updates on the most recent protocols because policies are changing as cybercriminals become smarter. Each employee should sign a paper acknowledging that they have been aware of the policies and that consequences may result from not adhering to security regulations in order to hold them accountable.
Make Sure You Have A Firewall
A firewall is one of the primary lines of protection against a cyber-attack. The Federal Communications Commission advises all small and medium-sized enterprises to use firewalls to protect their data from cybercriminals. In addition to the typical exterior firewall, most businesses are beginning to implement internal firewalls to give additional security. Additionally, it is essential that remote workers set up a firewall on their network. You might consider providing firewall support and software for your home network to ensure compliance.
Use Multifactor Identification
Despite your best efforts, an employee will probably commit a security blunder that puts your data at risk. Matt Littleton, East Regional Director of Cybersecurity and Azure IaaS (Azure Infrastructure Services) at Microsoft, in one article “10 Cyber Security Steps Your Small Business Should Take Right Now,” claims that enabling the multi-factor authentication (MFA) settings on the majority of popular network and email products is easy to do and adds an extra layer of security. Since a burglar rarely knows the PIN and the password, Littleton advises utilizing the employees’ cellphone numbers as a second option.
Enforce Safe Password Practices
Yes, updating passwords is a hassle for employees. According to the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, 63% of data breaches were caused by weak, lost, or stolen passwords. 65% of small and medium-sized businesses with password policies do not enforce them, according to a report by Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute. Additionally, all staff devices connecting to the company network must be password-protected in today’s BYOD world.
Bill Carey, Siber Systems Inc.’s vice president of marketing, business development, recommended that employees use lowercase and uppercase letters and symbols as well as digits for passwords. He also stated that passwords should be changed every 60-90 days in small and medium-sized businesses.
Plan For Mobile Devices
According to Tech Pro Research’s 2016 BYOD, IoT and Wearables: Security, Strategies, and Satisfaction study, 59% of firms presently permit BYOD. Therefore organizations must have a BYOD policy in writing that emphasizes security measures. It is vital to include wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches with wireless capabilities in your policy due to the growing popularity of these devices. Norton by Symantec suggests that small and mid-sized enterprises set up automatic security upgrade programs and that employees apply their password policy to all mobile devices connecting with the network.
Install Anti-Malware Software
It’s simple to believe that your staff members know they should never click on phishing emails. But, Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report discovered that 30% of workers opened phishing emails, which is an increase of 7% from 2015. Phishing attacks are a way to install malware on employees’ computers when they click on a link. So, it is important that anti-malware software must be installed on the network and all devices.
Backup All Data Regularly
Despite taking all necessary safeguards, breaches are still possible; thus, blocking as many attacks as possible is crucial. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends backing-up electronic spreadsheets, word processing documents, financial files, human resource files, databases, and accounts receivable or payable files. Make sure to backup all cloud-stored data as well. Backups should be kept in a different location in the event of a flood or fire. Check your backup frequently to ensure it is working properly, so you can be sure you have the most recent backup if you ever need it.
Important Cyber Security Practices: Security is an ever-changing goal. Every day, cybercriminals get more sophisticated. Every employee must make cyber security a top priority in order to protect their data. You must keep up to date with the latest threats and prevention technology.
Moreover, following these 8 cyber security best practices can help keep your small to medium-size business safe from cyber-attacks. You can help protect your company’s data and reputation by being proactive and diligent in your security measures. Always keep your software up to date, use strong passwords, and be vigilant about phishing attacks. By taking these simple precautions, you can rest assured that your business is well protected against cybercrime.
Pramod is an entrepreneur and has a background both in technology, web development, and digital marketing. In his early years of his career, Pramod worked with various market research agencies. These ranged from small startup businesses to large-scale online marketing agencies. This gave him the opportunity to connect with large-scale companies worldwide. He has over 10 years experience in market research and digital marketing.