How to get cyber security right in your small business

How to get cyber security right in your small business

As more of your business operations are digital you may have begun to think about how to keep it all secure. There is a lot of data to protect, from customer data, to payroll information. Hackers and other cybercriminals like to get their hands on this data.

The switch online brings a lot of growth and opportunity for businesses. So, make this switch secure with this guide on small business cyber security.

Cyber security problems you could encounter

First up let’s talk about some of the problems you might encounter. There are some very common cyber security issues businesses may encounter that you need to watch out for. These include:

  • Viruses or malware which can be received through scam emails or through downloading software on an unfamiliar website.
  • Information stolen by hackers when using an unsecured network.
  • Some software downloaded can unknowingly collect information from individuals without their permission.

Fortunately, there are some really easy methods that you can implement into your business to keep you protected from these dangers. With a growing understanding of the importance of cyber security, and technological development in the area, you will be able to implement many of the out of the box solutions to assist.

10 tips for keeping your business safe

1. Ensure your business data is backed up

First step, always back up your business data. If anything goes wrong you will be kicking yourself for not backing up. By having a backup you are secure in case anything goes wrong with your systems potentially saving a lot of money. The best way to create this backup is by utilising an off-site cloud backup. There are a lot of services available for businesses to assist with this. Through a cloud backup the system will automatically backup regularly and you will also be able to access any file at any time.

2. Secure all your devices and network

Your devices and network should always be kept up to date with the latest security updates. Each device should also have some form of security software, although the default security on Windows and Mac tends to be enough as long as you keep it up to date. You should also check to ensure the firewall is active on devices to prevent unwanted viruses from being downloaded.

3. Keep important information encrypted

Encryption is important to keeping any data you send secure. With encryption, the data is turned into a code that is difficult to decipher without certain keys. This means that hackers can’t access your information if they intercept it when it is being sent.

4. Enable multi factor authentication (MFA)

Multi factor authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to ensure the security of your user accounts across platforms. MFA requires a user to provide multiple points of proof to verify their identity to log in. To keep it convenient these systems will detect unusual login attempts and require it only at those times. Modern MFA systems also use apps on your phone, so there are no security flaws in requiring a phone number or email.

5. Manage passwords

Your passwords are important to manage. To best protect your valuable data you should switch from short passwords to randomly generated passphrases. These will look like a jumbled mess of numbers, symbols, and letters. But don’t worry about having to remember all of them, there is a great solution that you can implement out of the box.

Password managers are powerful tools that allow you to store passwords for your accounts. With a password manager, you can easily autofill username and password fields every time you log in. They will also help randomly generate a new password and keep an eye out for any exposed passwords.

6. Keep administration privileges managed

Keep an eye on who you provide administrator access to. They will have the ability to change and access anything within the software you set them as administrator in. While this may be necessary in some cases, it is important to know who had administrator permissions and with which app. This way if a member of your team leaves you can easily remove their administrator access and prevent any potential issues for your business.

7. Monitor uses of your systems

Unauthorised logins or access into your systems should be monitored. In the case where a hacker managed to obtain the login information of you or your staff they may be able to log in, but not get past your MFA. This will alert you that someone has access to a password and that it is time to change it, and any other uses of it.

8. Guide staff with policies

Your team needs to understand their responsibilities and the systems you have in place in order to protect them, your business, and your customers. By having a written policy in place they will be able to refer to a document whenever they are unsure of what to do. So, if they may have accidentally downloaded a virus, or they have been locked out of their password manager you have policies in place to help them out.

9. Train your staff in safe use of your systems

After developing policies that outline your systems and staff responsibilities, it is important to train your staff. Show them how to operate safely online without compromising your systems. They should also receive training in using the MFA systems and other software you use. This will enable them to work confidently and keep your business secure.

10. Protect your customers’ information

Your customer’s information is extremely valuable. It contains a lot of personal information about your customers, including credit card information, name, address, purchase history, contact information, and even birthday in some cases. This information can be used for nefarious purposes. So, it is vital that where this information is stored is kept secure. Meaning virus-free, and MFA protected. Preferably this would be stored on an encrypted cloud server.

Conclusion

Keeping your data secure is vital for your business’ success. Having data leaks, loss of data, or more could result in a big headache. Similarly, viruses clogging staff computers could reduce productivity. So, by using the above tips you can keep your business safe and sound, reducing risk.

If you want more assistance on keeping your business safe, come have a chat with Link Books.

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