Cyber and data security concerns are kept at top of mind for SMBs, as they very well should be. The surge in security breaches over the last several years prove that cybersecurity is no longer something to just snub our noses at; we need to consciously make an effort to protect ourselves. Here are 10 easy cybersecurity tips for SMBs to implement and shield your data from the dangers of digital attacks:
1. Educate your employees. We offer a free guide on best cybersecurity practices. Having weak links could expose you to so much more vulnerability. Employee mishandling (like opening malicious emails and attachments) is one of the top gateways for ransomware attacks.
2. Conduct background checks on all new employees. Running criminal background checks lets you know who you’re hiring and what their track record is. While it’s not 100% fool-proof, it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
3. Stay up-to-date and install antivirus software. Antiviruses are the frontlines of cybersecurity defense and they should be kept up-to-date! Always install the latest security patches. What people don’t realize is patches in software lead to exposed vulnerabilities, meaning you’re that much more susceptible to attacks.
4. Use a secure connection when sensitive and/or financial data is involved. Only enter credit card and other important information on sites using SSL or TLS, otherwise your data can be captured by attackers.
5. Secure your wireless connection. Use a password protected, secure wireless connection to prevent any unwanted people on your network. Failing to do this could lead to hacking or stealing of data.
7. Change passwords often and make sure they’re strong. We recommend using phrases for passwords and changing them often. Use symbols, too. For example, use 0 instead of o or @ instead of a. Put in place a password expiration policy and force employees to change their passwords at least every 90 days.
8. Double check your sources. Falling into the trap of visiting malicious scam sites is easy to do. Make sure the sites you’re visiting, downloading from or purchasing on are 100% legitimate.
9. Backup your data! We cannot stress this enough. Being able to backup data and potentially restore your necessary business docs can help your entity stay in business. If you’ve already lost your data then it’s too late; don’t let that be the case.
It’s been proven that over 60% of SMBs that suffer from a ransomware attack are forced to shut down within six months.
10. Have a disaster recovery plan in place. Setting up a disaster recovery plan can help your business bounce back in the event of an attack or disaster. Technology failure and water spills are accidents that can cause severe damage, too. Don’t think you’re invincible; get prepared.
Taking on the proper cybersecurity measures doesn’t have to be a challenge too big to take on. Simple ramifications in your already established business practices is all it takes. Staying aware and protected is the best thing you can do for a thriving business.
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