Cybersecurity threats have rapidly increased in the recent past, especially against small and medium-sized businesses. As technology advances, cybercriminals are also taking advantage of the latest trends to develop sophisticated methods of accessing networks and stealing confidential information.
So far, the number of data breaches this year has surpassed the total number in 2020 by 17%. The numbers could even go higher in 2022 because cybersecurity threats keep evolving. With all these security risks, modern businesses require a comprehensive cybersecurity plan to protect their data from malicious attacks.
The truth is no business is immune to cyberattacks. However, small businesses are more vulnerable because they lack the awareness, resources, and expertise to mitigate the risks of cyberattacks.
Here are the essential steps you need to strengthen your cybersecurity and grow your business.
Step 1: Develop a Security Plan
Acknowledging that cyberattacks are real threats to your business is the first step towards securing it. In this case, you need to assess your system and workflows to identify gaps and vulnerabilities that may make your business susceptible to data breaches.
After establishing the risks, you can develop a security plan to eliminate the vulnerabilities and strengthen your cybersecurity network infrastructure against possible data breaches. You also need to have a clear picture of your networks and connected devices to ensure each item is covered in your security plan.
Step 2: Update Your Software
Updating your software regularly is a crucial step towards protecting your IT infrastructure. Updating your software gives your systems the necessary security patches to keep them functioning correctly and helps eliminate vulnerabilities that may expose your systems to data breaches.
You can configure your systems to update automatically or set reminders to help you remember to update systems that need to be updated manually.
Step 3: Create User Awareness
95% of cybersecurity breaches result from human errors. As you invest in modern technology, you also need to train your employees to identify security risks and how to respond when they find evidence of an attack.
You can incorporate cybersecurity training in your onboarding process to ensure new staff members understand all the company’s security protocols. Since cybersecurity issues keep evolving, ensure you conduct regular training to keep your employees updated with the emerging cybersecurity trends.
Also, train your employees not to disclose confidential information, open suspicious links, or download attachments and files from unknown persons.
Step 4: Have a Backup Plan
Data is a crucial asset in every business. That’s why you need a comprehensive data backup plan to ensure that your business can bounce back in the shortest time possible should a cyber attack occur. You also need to backup your data in an external drive, flash drive, or in the cloud. In case of an attack, you are assured of resuming normal operations with minimal downtime.
Every business, whether small or large, should consider following the above steps to strengthen cybersecurity and boost productivity. Besides securing your systems, a solid cybersecurity strategy helps build your company’s reputation and protects you from hefty fines and lawsuits that often arise from data breaches.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider partnering with cybersecurity experts.