What Are the Small Business Cybersecurity Fundamentals?Tim Stock
Many businesses think that cybercrime won’t happen to them. Either because they’re a small business or they’re simply thinking wishfully. But if the last twelve months have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes catastrophic things do happen, and one of those is cybercrime. If you want to stay safe in 2021, alongside having a full disaster recovery plan, there are a range of cybersecurity fundamentals that all small businesses should adhere to. Here are seven of the most important ones.
Deploy an antivirus and firewall
This should go without saying for all small business’ cybersecurity. A good antivirus will detect and neutralise the standard range of threats: viruses, ransomware, phishing scams, etc. Meanwhile, a firewall will monitor and control access to your network and prevent unwanted outsiders from accessing it.
Maintain a strong password policy
Another basic that is still, unfortunately, often overlooked. Make sure your employees’ passwords are unique, hard to guess, and changed every three to six months. Multi-factor authentication should also be used. This is the requiring of information such as a telephone number or biometric data. The user then inputs a code that’s generated when this data is submitted in addition to a password when authenticating identity.
Secure your Wi-Fi networks
Make sure your access point or router isn’t broadcasting the network name; aka the Service Set Identifier. Protecting it with a password is also a no-brainer.
Limit employee access and authority
Should a criminal breach your small business’s cybersecurity measures, you’ll want to limit their damage. This means only giving employees access to the specific data systems they require for their jobs. And it means forbidding all employees from installing software without permission from the IT administrator.
Keep Software Updated
Old, poorly updated software can undermine small business’ cybersecurity. New versions of software are created in order to stay one step ahead of any threats that are constantly evolving. If possible, make sure you set your software to auto-update. Or, for total security, entrust an outsourced IT provider to update your software for you.
Train your employees to be cyber-aware
No matter how much technology and policy you throw at your small business’ cybersecurity, it’ll still only be as strong as your weakest line of defence. And the vast majority of the time, that’ll be your employees. You need to rely on them as your human antivirus to spot email phishing scams and ignore them. The only way to ensure this is by training them to do so.
Regularly back up your data
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, should all your cybersecurity measures fail you, having a complete backup of your data is the ultimate safety net. Sometimes the worst does happen. An employee might fall victim to a phishing scam. Or even an insider threat could unleash malware on your systems. Restoring from a backup of your data will be the only thing your IT can rely on in a worst-case scenario.
Cybersecurity can be quite the minefield to navigate. If you’re looking to improve yours, we’d recommend starting with one segment of it at a time. Want to know more about how to better protect your business from cyber threats? Why not book a meeting with one of our cybersecurity experts to learn more.