5 Small Business Security Tips to Keep Your Data Safe and Secure
Technological progression marches on, and cyberattacks are becoming more common and more varied. Follow these tips to keep your small business secure.
As technology inevitably progresses, the potential cyber threats to our businesses are becoming more frequent and more varied. Follow these five techniques to help stay ahead of hackers and keep your company safe and successful.
Update Your Software
The biggest software companies in the world are constantly pouring millions of dollars and working hours into new security measures. When a flaw is found in the security of your operating system, web browser, or other software tools, their companies will find a solution to it and put out an update to protect you from bad actors. If you’re not letting your software update, then you’re remaining vulnerable to flaws that companies have already found solutions for.
Web browser and operating systems will generally update automatically, as long as you don’t stop them. On the other hand, other software tools are less likely to update automatically, and many won’t even send out notifications to let you know that updates are available. To stay on top of the shifting cybersecurity market, make sure to manually check for software updates for any of your tools that don’t update automatically.
Train Your Employees
Effective cybersecurity is of necessity a group effort shared by company employees. Any employee who doesn’t know how to follow best practices for tech security can inadvertently provide a pathway for hackers into the company.
Make sure your employees know how to create strong passwords. Make sure your vendor, customer, and other types of sensitive information are all stored separately and only accessible to authorized users. You’ll also need a Plan B in place for what to do in the event of a security breach, and your employees need to know their part in it.
Limit System Access
Every person in a security system is a potential breach, so it’s best to have a few people in control of sensitive systems as possible. Before you grant someone access to your company’s information, make sure that you feel comfortable trusting them. Even once you’ve found the people that you’re willing to trust with your system, it’s safest if you only give them access to the parts of your system that they need to access. It can also help to provide each authorized person an individual account within the system so that they can’t obtain the information of other people.
Establish Secure Password Policies
According to Moore’s Law, processing power approximately doubles every two years. It’s a pattern that’s held steady for many decades now. The constant doubling of processing power means that it becomes easier and more accessible for hackers to brute force through passwords and gain unauthorized access to your business. Make sure that you follow best practice guidelines for making secure passwords and keep your employees up to date on them.
The best way to make a password hard to break is to make it longer. Using numbers and special characters can help, but adding a few extra characters to your passwords can take a password from guessable within a few minutes to only guessable after years of brute force attempts.
Prepare for Ransomware
Ransomeware is an increasingly common way for hackers to threaten your company’s success. Ransomeware gains control of your computer systems and then either shuts you out of them or threatens to reveal sensitive information to the public. Not every company has to be worried about company secrets being leaked, but in the modern era, every company relies heavily on its computer systems to maintain normal business operations.
To regain access to their system, more and more companies are giving up and paying ransoms to hackers. To avoid that, keep all of your information backed up in a separate location. This way, in the event of a ransomware attack, you’ll still have access to your necessary files. Keeping your antivirus and firewalls entirely up to date and continuously running can also help protect you.
Every employee’s company email is a potential hole through which ransomware can enter. Make sure your employees understand the risks of opening unknown emails and consider running incoming company emails through a verification process before giving access to them to your employees.
We hope you learned something helpful about cybersecurity for small businesses in this piece. To learn more about how to keep your company secure, contact us here.