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How to Boost Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Keeping your company’s data safe online requires the right tools and strategy. This guide explains how to boost cybersecurity for small businesses.

How to Boost Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

One in five small businesses is a victim of a cyberattack. Within 6 months, over 60 percent of attacked businesses will close shop.

The writing is on the wall and the message is clear. As a small business owner, it’s only a matter of time before hackers come knocking. Is your company ready to defend itself?

If you’re reading this, the likely answer is no. But you’ve heeded the warning and are now ready to take steps to protect your business from cyberattacks.

Smart move!

In this article, we’re sharing expert insight on how to boost cybersecurity for your enterprise. Read on!

Know Your Cybersecurity Risks

The first step to improve your company’s cybersecurity preparedness is to understand the risks it faces.
When the average small business owner thinks of a cyberattack, the first thing that comes to mind is hackers trying to penetrate a business website.

This is accurate. Websites are the primary attack target for most hackers.
However, it’s not just websites that can be compromised.

There are several other digital systems and services that hackers can target. For example, if your business is on social media, hackers can try to hijack your social accounts.

If your business has the digital infrastructure, such as a computer network, it’s also a potential attack target.
Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate your business’s digital infrastructure and establish the risks. If you don’t have a website, for example, you won’t need to worry about website attacks.

If you have an organizational computer network, you need to know that hackers can infiltrate it and start collecting your data remotely. They can also shut it down and bring your operations to a halt.
Evaluating cybersecurity risks isn’t a layman’s job.

Part of this assessment will include penetration testing. This is how you find the weak spots.
So, it’s advisable to hire a cybersecurity professional to conduct the assessment and compile a report. Here’s how to select the best penetration testing company for your business.

Create Strong Passwords

Passwords, passwords, passwords.
It’s amazing to think of the sheer number of attacks that would be prevented if people acted on the advice to create strong passwords.

As a business owner, you can’t ignore this basic cyberattack prevention method.
It’s your responsibility to create strong passwords for all users who need to access or use your digital systems. If you leave it to them, there’s no guarantee they’ll create strong passwords. Most will probably create an easy password that’s easy to remember and type.

If you have trouble creating strong passwords for multiple users, worry not. These days there are several password management programs that will automatically create and store strong passwords for you and your users. Make use of them.

Avoid Open Wi-Fi Networks

The Wi-Fi network you use in the office is definitely secured with a strong password. However, you might want to provide an open network for your customers and guests. Understandably, this makes it easier for them to use the network without asking for the password – which can be annoying.

Unfortunately, this is a convenience you’ll have to forego. An open network doesn’t just put your business at risk. It also puts your customers at risk.

Open networks can be easily hijacked by hackers. Once they’re in, you can’t know what they’ll be up to.
While on the matter of open Wi-Fi networks, avoid using them to log into your business’s systems. Discourage, in fact, prohibit your employees from using open and public networks to log into their work accounts.

Give Your Employees Adequate Cybersecurity Training

Employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain.
Some workers are simply careless because they don’t care about cyberattacks. They probably believe hackers are only targeting big companies. Other workers are careless because they don’t know much about how to be cybersecurity-savvy.

Regardless of where your employees lie, they need extensive cybersecurity training. This helps improve their awareness of the costs of cyberattacks. For example, when employees learn that many small companies fail soon after a cyberattack, they’ll know their jobs will be on the line if they don’t do their part to prevent cyberattacks.

Training also equips them with the technical skills they need to prevent and even defend the company from an attack. For example, they’ll learn how to create strong passwords, identify systems vulnerabilities, and detect when an intrusion is taking place.

Cybersecurity Training for employees shouldn’t be a one-time thing. It should be regular. As cybersecurity technology advances, so are hackers’ methods. Regular training ensures your employees stay abreast of common cyber threats.

Hire an In-House Cybersecurity Specialist/Outsource

As a small company, you probably don’t see any need of hiring an in-house cybersecurity team. Perhaps you’re satisfied with the measures you’ve put in place and trust that hackers won’t find their way in.

That’s understandable, but the modern company needs a cybersecurity specialist. As a business owner, you’re certainly already wearing multiple important hats. Cybersecurity isn’t top of your list.
Your employees too are focused on their primary tasks.

This leaves your business vulnerable to a cyberattack, regardless of the measures you already have. Having a professional whose primary job is to protect your business from a cyberattack and enhance its readiness goes a long way.

If you’re on a shoestring budget and can’t afford an in-house cybersecurity specialist, outsourcing to a cybersecurity firm is usually a cheaper and more efficient option.

Boost Cybersecurity for Your Small Business

Cybersecurity isn’t one of the first things that come to mind when you’re running a small business.
But as the research shows, now isn’t the time to let your guard down. Hackers are on the loose and they’re going after small enterprises.

Use the tips fleshed out above to boost cybersecurity for your small business and keep the bad guys out.
Keep tabs on our blog for more tips and insights on business and technology.

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