Cybersecurity: Best Practices for Small Businesses
Because of the rapid growth of the online business market, small to medium-sized brands have a chance at successfully growing their business quickly and effectively. However, this can lead to a lack of preparation, especially when it comes to cybersecurity.
Most small businesses are easy targets for hackers because they often neglect the importance of cybersecurity that protects their systems and sensitive data. However, it doesn’t mean those small businesses have no chance to protect themselves against cyber attacks.
This article will look at some of the best practices small businesses can apply to their websites, even with a constricted budget and minimal technical skills.
1. Choose a Credible Hosting Provider
When enhancing your business’s cybersecurity, your priority is to make sure your website uses a credible hosting service. As the core of your website infrastructure, web hosting needs to provide enough security measures to protect you from cyber-attacks.
A good web hosting provider should equip their server with various security features, including a firewall, an SSL certificate, and regularly updated software. By choosing a credible hosting provider, you ensure the first and arguably the most essential layer of security for your business website.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a security measure that requires you to use another device or channel to get additional login credentials for your account. This feature grants additional protection to your account, even when an unknown party managed to steal your password.
Many cyberattacks target individual accounts to breach a larger database owned by companies since personal accounts are more susceptible. Therefore, an additional layer of security like this is crucial.
Some of the best authenticator applications including Google Authenticator and Lastpass Authenticator.
3. Create a Strong Password
Using a strong password for your account is the easiest way to protect your business from cyber attacks. Make sure that your employees use unique and complex passwords to secure their work-related accounts, and encourage them to update their passwords regularly.
Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts to avoid a more significant breach. To help your employees create and manage their passwords, you can also use tools such as LastPass and 1Passwords.
4. Plan Mobile Device Security
Mobile device technology keeps on improving where it allows users to integrate various accounts to their phone. More often than not, your employees will also do the same; they will log in to work-related accounts through their mobile devices because it is more convenient.
Because mobile devices have higher chances of connecting to various networks, including unprotected ones, it is important to plan measures to protect them from cyber attacks. Establish a clear policy regarding mobile device usage and what account is allowed to be integrated with them.
Encourage your employees to install security software such as VPN on their mobile devices and educate them about the risks of connecting their devices to unencrypted networks, like public WiFi.
5. Limit Access to Data
As mentioned above, human error can give hackers more chances to exploit your business’ cybersecurity. Even after extensive training on cybersecurity, the possibility of a human error occurring will always be there.
To lower the risk of cyberattacks, limit your employees’ access to data and information. Only give access to data that your employees need for their jobs. Additionally, don’t allow your employees to install additional software on the company’s devices without permission.
6. Use a Firewall
A firewall is a computer security feature that monitors data transfer from and to the network. This feature gives a barrier of security to your system when it accesses data from the internet or local network.
Even though most operating systems already have a built-in firewall, installing an additional firewall on your device would be better. To get maximum protection, use software and hardware-based firewalls if possible. Also, make sure that your employees install them on their home network to avoid potential breaches from personal devices.
Hackers often target small businesses because most of them neglect the importance of cybersecurity. When a business lacks a proper cybersecurity system, it gives a chance for cyber-attackers to abuse their system and gain access to sensitive information such as databases and financial files.
In this article, we have learned six best practices for small businesses to improve their cybersecurity. These practices include:
- Choose a credible hosting provider
- Use multi-factor authentication
- Create strong passwords
- Plan for mobile device security
- Limit access to data
- Use a firewall
Cybersecurity is an important topic that should be familiar for everyone who uses the internet, including small business owners. Start improving your business’s cybersecurity now and protect your business from potential threats down the line.