Essential Cybersecurity Measures Every Small Business Must Adopt
If you’re a small business owner, you may eventually come under siege from hackers trying to breach your network security. You know that such a breach could be a crippling event that could cost you the entire business you’ve struggled so long and hard to build. It’s little comfort to know that the attacks aren’t personal, because the hackers are after everyone.
Yet, that’s the reality with which we live. Hackers are after everyone, and they will take down the most vulnerable. If you want to avoid a potential disaster, you must implement robust security measures. Fortunately, the steps you must take are not all that complex or expensive. You can provide effective defense for your company with a variety of proven measures. But don’t take our word for it. Here are the top 10 cyber security measures you can take according to the Federal Communications Commission:
- Train your employees — Your company must have written guidelines for Internet use that explain best practices and lay out the consequences for violating company cybersecurity policies. Employees must also understand the rules for handling and protecting customer information and other vital data.
- Update software — To protect information, computers, and networks from cyber-attacks you must employ the latest security software, web browsers, and operating systems. These are your best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Run scans regularly and update software as soon as new versions are available.
- Provide firewalls — As the name suggests, these programs keep hostile actors out of your private network. If your employees work remotely, ensure that their off-site systems have firewall protection.
- Create a mobile device action plan — Mobile devices are often the weak link in the chain, since they don’t have as robust defenses as computers. Therefore, you must have a plan to compensate for these potential deficiencies, such as strong passwords, encryptions, and two-step authentication.
- Backup important business data — You must have regularly scheduled backups of data on all computers. Ideally, the backups would be stored off-site.
- Physical access controls — Unauthorized individuals should never gain access to your business computers or mobile devices. Laptop and smartphone theft is an ever-present threat, so users must be vigilant whenever using devices in the field and even in a busy office. You should lock up devices when they are not being used. You can also frustrate thieves by creating a separate user account for each employee and requiring them to use strong passwords. You should also restrict administrative privileges to key personnel.
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks — There’s no way to keep your Wi-Fi signal within the four walls of your business, but you can prevent outsiders from hitching a ride on your network and intercepting your communications. You can program your router to hide your network’s name and password-protect your router.
- Take care with payment cards — Many businesses allow employees to pay expenses with bank cards. You must employ the best security practices, such as multi-step authentication, to prevent card fraud.
- Limit employee access and authority — Access to sensitive data and the authority to install software programs must be enabled on a “need to” basis.
- Rigorous password protection and user authentication — Using unique passwords and changing them every three months boosts network security. Additionally, multi-factor authentication adds another hurdle that a hacker must pass before gaining access.
Businesses can implement many heightened security measures without additional costs, so there’s no reason to delay. At KMF Technologies, our IT experts can evaluate your current security protocols and suggest changes to fortify your network. Remember, no business is too small to be a target, because hackers are targeting everyone. You don’t have to take the threat personally, but you’ve got to take it seriously. With help from KMF Tech, you can be confident your network is diligently monitored.