Cybersecurity Guide for Small to Medium Business
In today’s time, cyberattacks aren’t anything new. We regularly hear about cyber threats and attacks done against individuals and businesses in the news. Most hackers target businesses with their cyberattack strategy, as that is where big money is.
We mostly only hear about big companies and multinational corporations like Google, Microsoft, Zoom, Marriott, etc., being subjected to cyber-attacks. This is because such news on the big companies generates the most considerable interest for the public.
The fact is that small-scale and medium-scale businesses are equally or worse in danger of cyber threats than the big companies out there.
It is said that cyber-attacks target 1 in 5 small businesses. Also, cyberattacks can be quite a big blow to small and medium businesses, especially if they’re struggling in the growing phase.
A recent study by the National Cyber Security Alliance reported that about 60 percent of small and medium businesses fall out of business once subjected to a cyberattack.
Therefore, small and medium businesses need to focus on cybersecurity just like other business-related functions. But, what can small and medium businesses do to improve cybersecurity within their organization?
This article will take you through a practical cybersecurity guide for small-scale and medium-scale businesses to stay safe in the digital world. You don’t want to be a victim (or your employees) of identity theft.
1. Educate Employees About Cyber Threats And Its Costs
It is known that about 90 percent of all cyberattacks happen due to human error. Therefore, without proper awareness among your employees about the overhanging cyber threats, no cybersecurity rule will affect them.
It is essential to periodically provide cybersecurity awareness classes to the employees about the latest and risky cyber threats, their mode of spread, their cost on the business, and how they can be prevented.
2. Secure The Systems And Network
The next step is to ensure that all the systems within your business environment and the communication network of your business are safeguarded against attacks.
First, ensure you have cybersecurity tools such as antivirus, antimalware, antispyware, etc., installed on all systems and servers within the office environment. Your office communication network can be protected by using firewall protection, hiding the WiFi network from public access, and password-protecting the router access.
3. Enforce Strict Password Policies
We all are very lazy when it comes to passwords. Admit it! Our laziness is very evident because “123456” is still the most commonly used password in 2021. Such lazy password habits are considered a blessing by hackers and can be deadly for your business’s cybersecurity.
Therefore, a strict password policy must be implemented within the business environment to ensure hackers don’t get any entry into the office network.
Using password manager tools is one of the best ways to ensure a strict and efficient password policy within any business. Password managers can help generate truly random and super-strong passwords, as well as save & securely share those passwords.
4. Regularly Backup Data:
Ransomware attacks are widespread against businesses. In a ransomware attack, the attacker gains access to a system and encrypts all the data within the system. Then, a ransom, often massive, is demanded to give access back to the affected system.
Once a ransomware attack occurs in your business environment, you can either pay the ransom and hope the hacker is true to his word or format the attacked machines and start from scratch.
However, suppose a regular backup of the system data is kept in a separate location. In that case, you can ensure immediate back-to-action status for your office systems in case of ransomware attacks. All you have to do is to format the affected systems and flashback the most recent backup.
5. Dedicate IT Resources for Cybersecurity
Businesses need to dedicate IT resources to maintain cybersecurity within the organization. The responsible individuals in small and medium businesses need to periodically evaluate looming cybersecurity risks and safeguard the business environment against such attacks.
Moreover, the dedicated cybersecurity team should deploy tools to monitor the employee’s activity within the network and flag/report any risky activities to ensure safety at all times.
Last but not the least, the cybersecurity team also has the responsibility to ensure that the business functions are swiftly restored to normalcy in case of any cyberattacks.
What More Can Be Done?
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving space, and a few guidelines cannot guarantee your business’s digital security forever.
Therefore, as we have stressed earlier in this article, it is essential for businesses to periodically evaluate their cybersecurity level and also educate the employees about the current threats.
Finally, it is also essential to ensure that your business adheres to the latest cybersecurity and IT standards to ensure maximum security against hackers. Companies must also take initiatives to educate/train their employees & IT staff to stay safe from modern cyber threats.
How To Report Suspicious Activity
Let your family and friends know about this cybersecurity guide by sharing it on your social media channels. At the same time, you can also officially report any suspicious online activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using this link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other cybersecurity-related articles right under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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