Are you just starting to provide your services or products to customers? Have you hired a security guard to protect your workplace or your warehouse from breaches? But are you aware that an organisation in business will always attract breaches to its cyber security? Small businesses are more prone to such breaches since they don’t have the logistics and workforce to ensure protection from cyber attacks.
Enforcing high-end cyber-security software or engaging with providers of such services can also burn a hole in the pocket of already small pockets of small businesses.
In this article, we’ll understand what are cyber security practises and what are the 10 easy and doable cyber security practises that a small business can adopt to ensure they are safe from cyberattacks.
What is cybersecurity?
In simple terms, cybersecurity practises are those that help in defending electronic devices like the computer, servers, phones, etc. from cyber attacks. The goal of these attacks is usually to obtain unlawful access to a computer, computing system, or computer network to inflict damage. Cyber attacks aim to disable, disrupt, destroy, or take control of computer systems, as well as to change, block, erase, modify, or steal data stored on them.
Why is cybersecurity important?
The size of an organisation should not be a factor to overlook the importance of cybersecurity since every year the number of cyber-attacks has been increasing at an alarming rate. Agencies and organisations worldwide are becoming prone to cyber-attacks irrespective of their operating size hence the importance of cybersecurity only has increased.
This increase in cyberattacks has been because of the transition to a digitised economy and setting up digital infrastructure. The pandemic has allowed for industries to work from home allowing for adopting even more technologies and depending on them entirely for keeping the information that the businesses possess safe.
This increased use of ever-developing technologies leaves space that could potentially allow for cyber attacks. The most important factor other than safeguarding the information that these businesses possess, for cybersecurity practices to be adopted, is that such attacks can essentially lead to bankruptcy of such small businesses.
What are the cyber security practises that a small business can adopt?
Realising the importance of cybersecurity for any organisation or business it is also important to note that to deal with high-end security measures, one needs to invest a lot too which in the cases of small businesses isn’t viable since they run off very little capital and often at times their entire revenue goes back into the business.
Hence, we have compiled a list of 10 cybersecurity practises that are viable and will not burn a hole in the business’s pockets.
They are as given below
● Invest in a Password Manager:
○ Safe passwords require users to use complex alphanumeric symbols to ensure a strong password has been set up. But to remember the same is a tedious task which might increase the chances of users writing them down either in electronic format or on paper, both of which are insecure locations and not a safe option. Therefore using a password manager allows users to store their passwords securely.
● Applying the Principle of Least Privilege:
○ This principle means that a business should ensure that not everyone has access to the data that they label as important or confidential and anyone who requires to use such information needs to find the selected individual(s) who have access to the decryption keys or passwords to such information to have access to them.
● Implement 2-Factor Authentication:
○ Implementing 2-factor authentication is the simplest approach to ensure that the wrong person does not gain access to your accounts. Even if your passwords are compromised, a hacker will run into a brick wall trying to gain access to your system.
● Create Strong Passwords:
○ Lost, stolen, or weak passwords were responsible for 81% of data breaches. Make sure your employees’ passwords are updated at least once every 90 days and contain a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
● Create a Cyberplan:
○ The best thing you can do to practice good cybersecurity is to make a backup plan in case something goes wrong. This approach should include every employee and serve as a continuous training exercise rather than a one-time event. Who to contact, where to store data backups, and when to contact law enforcement should all be included in the strategy.
● Back-Up Company Data and Files:
○ Data backup is one of the most important information security best practises that has gained traction in recent years. With the rise of ransomware, maintaining a complete and up-to-date backup of all your data can save your life. It is also important to encrypt such backups and divide them within a few selected people to reduce further threats.
● Secure Wireless Connection:
○ Wireless connections are a major part of the Internet of Things and the most challenging thing about them is their access to sensitive information. Security cameras, doorbells, smart door locks, heating systems, and office equipment are all potential entry points in your corporate network.
○ For Example, A printer that has been compromised can give hackers access to all papers being printed or scanned.
○ Thus making sure to have done a penetrative test on these devices to ensure a secure wireless connection is important.
● Have Safeguards Against Phishing:
○ Keeping it a point to ensure that all employees are aware of spear phishing so that someone imitating the small business owner can’t trick them into doing something they shouldn’t, like providing credit card information or purchasing XYZ.
● Transform your employees into cyber-warriors:
○ Even after adopting various practises to ensure that your data and business, in general, are safe from cyberattacks, it is impossible to eliminate the issues that might arise due to the human factor. An employee might not take cybersecurity practice which can essentially mean that your business is still prone to cyber attacks
○ Invest some time in ensuring that both you and they are aware of the hazards and the instruments available to protect the company. In the end, you want them to transform from liabilities to cyber warriors in the fight against hackers.
● Don’t Neglect Regular Patching and Updates:
○ Risks caused by a lack of frequent patching and upgrades are one of the most serious security hazards that small firms face. Maintaining apps and infrastructure is a significant time commitment with limited IT budgets and resources. It’s time-consuming to stay on top of these things, but neglecting to do so exposes your company to security dangers that software manufacturers may have already addressed. Firewalls, email filtering, antivirus, and multifactor authentication are all methods that businesses can use to protect their equipment.
At the end of the day, a business cannot afford to lose out on its human element but it is also important to realise that the human element in various instances can increase the chances of the cyber threat to a business. The increase in using technology for easing out operations in any sector of business in today’s time means that the vulnerability of business increases day-by-day too.
Businesses must remember that irrespective of their size and number of employees, anyone and everyone is essentially under the threat of cyberattacks, and therefore to ensure ease in operations and gaining customer trust with regards to safely storing and processing their data, it is extremely important for them to adopt cybersecurity practises.