Cybercriminals target small businesses more than large corporations. Many small-scale companies have lost their sensitive data over the years. Thus, it becomes essential to increase businesses' online security. Invest in a firewall rather than using only a security lock to prevent cyberattacks.
Small businesses often fail to protect their data after a cyberattack. Usually, it occurs because they don’t follow a data recovery plan. Besides, most small companies store crucial data in unsecured devices. Therefore these enterprises become more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
Do you use any third-party apps to run business operations? Stop using it. Instead, search for a reliable business application to handle the day-to-day work because third-party apps can steal your personal information. Thus, it will be better to avoid using these apps in small businesses.
Most small-scale business owners and employees are unaware of the major cyber-attacks. They fail to identify when a hacker tries to access their computer network. Thus, you should have adequate knowledge about the different cyber attacks. It will help you to safeguard your business data from cybercriminals.
According to CCTV Repair Dubai, small businesses mostly experience phishing attacks. Hackers use this technique to steal the user’s bank-related details. Besides, they can also access the client’s confidential data with phishing scams.
The scammer sends fraudulent messages or emails to the employees. Once your employees open the link, the hackers will get access to their devices. So, train your employees not to open any suspicious links, even if it comes from a reputable source.
Here are 6 cybersecurity practices which small businesses must follow:
Cyber-attacks can lead to severe financial loss in small businesses. So you should create a cybersecurity plan to reduce online threats. Entrepreneurs can mitigate data loss events with this business plan. However, it is important to know what to include in this plan.
Small business owners should include security policies in the plan. Besides, you must add an employee training program to the cybersecurity plan. Conduct yearly or semi-yearly refresher courses to increase cyber awareness.
Help the employees to understand the importance of updating their mobile devices. Moreover, you should train employees to identify a security breach. The faster you will act, the less chance of losing the data.
Entrepreneurs must also include an incident response plan. Here is what you should add to that plan:
• Whom to contact when the employees identify a security breach
• Where the business data should be stored
• How to recover crucial data after a cyberattack
• Which data security policies offer the best protection against cybercrimes
Using high-speed internet for small businesses has become a necessity. However, it also increases online threats and phishing scams. Hackers can easily access the business network if they find the router’s password. Thus, you must change the networking equipment’s default password.
Additionally, you can use the router’s security features to reduce the vulnerability. Update the web browser of the office laptops or PCs. Moreover, an out-of-date OS can cause security issues in mobile devices. Update the computer’s OS to minimise data security risks.
Here are the ways to increase your business’s network security:
• Change the wireless router’s default SSID
• Use the Windows Firewall Defender program
• Create a different router password for the clients
• Remove the bloatware and trial applications from the PC
• Monitor the employees' online activity
A network firewall is not enough to protect small businesses from cyber attacks. You must use a next-generation antivirus program to detect online threats. These apps provide endpoint security protection to the users.
A next-generation antivirus program (NGAV) uses AI to identify and prevent ransomware and virus attacks. Moreover, these programs are compatible with all mobile devices. You can secure office laptops or PCs using an NGAV program.
Certain factors should be determined before using this security tool. Here is what you should look for in the antivirus program for your small business:
• Check the NGAV apps’ security features
• It should have a built-in firewall and password manager
• The security app should provide real-time threat alerts
• It must have a “Quick Scan” or “Speedy Scan” option
• The “Email Scanning” feature is a must-have feature to protect the sensitive data
• The antivirus program must have a “Download Protection” feature
The more complex the businesses’ payment system, the harder it will be to protect from hackers. Thus, consider using an easy-to-use payment gateway. The payment app should be secured with end-to-end encryption. Besides, you should use an application that uses 2FA or MFA to protect the user data. The latest gateways use “Virtual Account Number” to protect the payment information. Hence, look for an advanced payment app so clients can make online transactions safely. Check these features before choosing a payment app for small businesses:
• Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)
• 3D passcode
• Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
• Email Authentication
Small businesses don’t prioritise increasing email security. Most business owners use email passwords like “1234567” or “abcde”. Though these passwords are easy to remember they can increase security risks. So try to set a complex password to enhance email security.
Don’t keep the same email password for years. Consider resetting it every 2-3 months so hackers can’t decode it.
Are you thinking of changing the email app’s passcode? Ensure there are at least 10-12 characters in the password. Combine lower and upper-case letters to make the password hard to crack.
Here are some other ways to increase small businesses’ email security:
• Use two-factor authentication to protect the email app
• Look out for phishing emails and don't click their links
• Don’t open any email attachments without scanning them
• Never open any mail when using public Wi-Fi
• Train your employees not to share their email ID with anyone
• Log out from the account after sending/checking emails
Protect the small business from malware attacks by backing up the data. Ensure to restore the important client data in a secured device. Besides, you must keep the business data in a cloud app. Don’t store the office data in one storage medium. Instead, try to back up the essential files at least in 3 separate locations.
Always choose an external storage device over an internal one because these storage mediums are less prone to damage. Moreover, you can safeguard the data from hackers when using external drives. Thus, save the files or documents on USB flash drives over HDDs or SSDs.
Small business owners must back up the following data on another device:
• Financial files
• Human resoure files
• Word processing documents
• Accounts reliable/payable documents
Use a VPN in small businesses to increase network security. Unauthorised users can’t access the office network when VPN is on. Moreover, there are many advanced VPNs available for small-scale companies. Use the one that is compatible with mobile devices and is easy to use.
Besides, you must limit access to important business files. Always check with whom you are sharing the files. Additionally, small business owners should connect their devices with a secure Wi-Fi connection. Continue updating the cybersecurity policies to prevent data breaches.