It is time for businesses, especially small businesses, to get serious about cybersecurity because they can no longer afford to take it lightly and get away with it. According to a 2019 report by CNBC, approximately 43% of online cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses. Out of those, only 14% of businesses are prepared to defend themselves.
Our reliance on the internet and technology is increasing with every passing day, and so is the number of cybersecurity threats. From data breaches to ransomware attacks, the consequences of a cyber attack can be devastating for businesses, especially small businesses that don’t have as many resources as large companies. A cyber attack can lead to loss of data, business operations, reputation, customer trust, and finances.
Therefore, it is time for small businesses to start implementing effective cybersecurity measures to protect themselves as well as their customers. In this regard, we will discuss some important cybersecurity steps that small businesses must take now to protect themselves, enhance their cybersecurity, and safeguard their operations.
Develop a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy
Most businesses don’t have a comprehensive and detailed cybersecurity strategy in place. So, how can they keep themselves protected against cyberattacks? This is a problem with both small and large businesses: they don’t have any strategy or policy in place to address cyberattacks.
Businesses that aim to establish a strong cybersecurity posture should start by conducting a thorough risk assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities. They should then establish clear security policies to protect the company’s data and resources. These policies should address things such as password management, remote work security, acceptable use of company resources, and preventing unauthorized access.
Additionally, role assigning in the workplace is also important to ensure that someone is overseeing the security measures. Moreover, educating employees about the importance of cybersecurity and best cybersecurity practices is vital. Regular training sessions and seminars should be organized to keep employees updated about cybersecurity threats.
Implement Strong Access Controls
Unauthorized access to a company’s computers, networks, and sensitive data can lead to severe consequences. Small businesses that aim to enhance their cybersecurity must implement strong access controls in place to prevent unauthorized access. This includes measures like using strong passwords, using a separate password for every site and application (including 192.168.0.1), enabling multi-factor authentication, and restricting the access of unauthorized people into the company’s network.
Access privileges to important and sensitive data should be granted on a need-to-know basis to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the sensitive data and no one else can. Moreover, regularly reviewing and revoking access privileges of former employees is also essential to prevent any unauthorized personnel from accessing your sensitive data or network after they have left the company.
Implement Patch Management Process
Another major problem for businesses comes in the form of unpatched devices. As our dependence on IoT increases, an increasing number of devices such as printers, watches, and wireless routers are connected to our business networks. If any of these devices, their operating systems, or firmware have any security vulnerabilities, they could become potential entry points for cyber attackers.
Therefore, it is important to regularly update all the IoT devices connected to the business network with the latest security patches. You can update these devices manually, such as updating the firmware of a wireless router through 192.168.1.1, or you can enable automatic updates to ensure that whenever there is a new update available, it gets installed automatically.
Small businesses can consider implementing a patch management process that can help with the timely installation of security updates. This will allow them to stay on top of patch management, block any potential access points for cyber attackers, and reduce their exposure to security vulnerabilities.
Engage with Cybersecurity Professionals
Although small businesses have limited resources and access to in-house expertise, they can engage with cybersecurity professionals for consultations and gain valuable insights and guidance. Not only for cybersecurity but for any other field, seeking advice and consultation from experts is important. It can provide you with useful knowledge, tips, and measures that you might have overlooked. Engaging with cybersecurity experts allows small businesses to leverage their knowledge and experience in mitigating cyber risks.
In some cases, it is the best choice for small businesses to outsource their cybersecurity services to specialized cybersecurity service providers. These firms can provide a range of cybersecurity services, including 24/7 monitoring, threat intelligence, incident response, and support.
Taylor is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger. His areas of expertise include technology, pop culture, and marketing.