If you think your business is too small for a cyber attack, think again. The Small Business Subcommittee suggests nearly 20% of all cyber attacks occur in businesses with 250 or fewer employees. Even worse, over 90% of these cases could have been prevented if companies had better security protocols.
In order to help protect your small business from cyber threats, here are five ways you can help tighten your company’s security.
1.Set Up Security Protocols for Employees to Follow
According to CyberFactors, nearly 40% of all cyber breaches are committed by current employees. While some commit these crimes are committed willingly, most of the time employees are doing things they don’t even know could harm your network.
Setting up security protocols and teaching your employees about the risks of how hackers operate will help minimize your risk of threat. Here’s a cybersecurity guide that details some of the more common attacks, how they occur, and how you can help prevent them from happening.
2. Create Clear, Concise Company Policies
It’s important to let your employees know when they’re allowed to access the company network on their personal devices and when they’re not. Also, make sure they’re all using strong passwords, and make sure any and all changes that are made to your work network or both reported and logged. Something as easy as changing a simple security question to something more private can result in tougher security measures.
Finally, once these policies are in place, make a habit to routinely check and make sure your employees are following the procedures.
3. Keep Your Networks Updated and Secure
One of the easiest and most common ways hackers break into your network is by finding flaws in your software, which usually occurs because your software is outdated.
Every time you receive a pop-up asking you to update your software, take the time to install it. Hackers are always scanning for security vulnerabilities, so it’s important that you keep your software updated. Letting your system coast for too long without updating it significantly increases your chances of becoming a target.
4. Automatically Back Up Your Data
According to a recent report by Carbonite, a whopping 40% of IT professionals said their small business would likely go under if they lost all their files.
Don’t put your business at risk because you don’t want to take the time to back up your data. There are plenty of free cloud-based backup solutions out there, so there’s no excuse not to back up your information.
5. Use a VPN
VPNs, or virtual private networks, help encrypt your traffic and anonymize your data. They offer a simple and secure way to bypass regional restrictions and add an extra layer of security to your network. Because they encrypt your personal information, they let you browse anonymously, making it harder for hackers to uncover sensitive information like employee usernames, passwords, etc.
While there are plenty of free VPNs available, it’s worth paying for a legitimate service you can trust. Most reputable VPN services cost as low as $5-10 a month and come with apps for Windows, as well as all your other devices.
Just because your business is small doesn’t mean it’s safe from harm. Taking the time today to prevent a catastrophe tomorrow is well worth it.