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Cyber attacks pose a risk to all businesses, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable. With smaller budgets and resources, it can be a challenge to implement comprehensive cybersecurity solutions. However, the cost of a breach makes it essential to try.
Whether you’re an Aussie entrepreneur using a managed IT support company in Melbourne, or an American startup trying to do it alone, here are six best practices to enhance your cybersecurity:
By using strong passwords on all devices and accounts, you significantly reduce the risk of a damaging breach. Strong passwords typically involve a random mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols that are at least 12 characters long. If you can’t think of one yourself, use a password generator. In addition, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to boost your account security. Combining these steps is a great way to ensure you have strong passwords, making unauthorized access a lot more difficult.
Regularly update any software your business uses. Software updates not only add features and fix issues, but they also address any bugs or vulnerabilities found in the previous version. Whenever they’re available, promptly install critical updates. If you have many devices, prioritize internet-facing services and any sensitive functions like those relating to finance and customer data.
The easiest way to manage this is by enabling automatic updates. Note that skipping this step exposes your business to preventable vulnerabilities, giving cybercriminals potential access points that can lead to devastating consequences. So never put updates on the backburner.
Encryption protects important data by scrambling the information using cryptographic keys. As a result, only authorized parties can decipher and read the content. Small business owners should proactively identify sensitive internal information such as customer data, financial records, and business plans. Then, encrypt this information to ensure comprehensive security.
Depending on access requirements and data type, your options range from full-disk encryption to cloud-backup encryption and transport encryption. Each type protects your business by ensuring the encrypted data is inaccessible to unauthorized parties.
All too often, employees engage in risky cyber behavior without even knowing it. They rely on weak passwords, click suspicious links, and leave sensitive data unencrypted. Usually, this is due not to malice but to a lack of cybersecurity knowledge.
To avoid that easy-to-fix problem, invest in cybersecurity training. Ensure each employee knows their cybersecurity basis—how to set strong passwords, identify risks, understand responsibilities, and take action if something goes wrong. In addition, set policies for what’s considered acceptable and what the repercussions are for violations.
Internet connectivity is vital for modern businesses, but it also presents a potential path in for hackers. Breaching wireless access point controls allows them to steal data and compromise connected devices—two things you definitely don’t want.
To enhance your security, change the default passwords, disable remote administrative access, and implement high encryption standards. For added safety, establish a segregated guest network to limit access to internal servers.
Though digital protections are essential, it’s equally important to take physical measures to protect your devices. Unauthorized possession of business computers can lead to data theft or compromised credentials as well.
To avoid that, enforce equipment check-out policies, enable device locking, install automatic wipe features, and use security cables. Screen locks with strong password requirements can also enhance protection.
These cybersecurity best practices should greatly reduce your risk of cyber-attacks. Implement them today to enhance the resilience of your small business!