Technology has been the savior of the small business. With so many business startups being launched, it is technology that has allowed them to grow and thrive. Without technology, many small businesses would not be as successful as they are today.
Technology is used in every aspect of business, from the initial idea, brainstorming sessions, and launch, to customer service, sales, and the smooth day to day running of the company. Yet despite all the good that can come from technology, there is a downside too.
Cybercrime is a very real issue that can have a devastating impact on a business, and for small businesses, it can even mean closure since the average cost of an attack is $200,000.
Having the right protection in place can be the difference between being targeted and potentially ruined by a cybercriminal, and being safe from cybercriminals and their hacking attempts. Read on to find out how to use technology to keep your business secure.
MFA, which stands for ‘multi-factor authorization’, is a simple option that can secure a business’s data and ensure that cybercriminals cannot access it.
Passwords can present a problem in business; they need to be completely secure, but in many cases, no matter how secure you think they are, a dedicated, professional cybercriminal will be able to bypass them.
This is where MFA comes in. MFA means your password is only the first step in accessing your data, and a second (and sometimes third) step will also be required.
Whether this is a one-time code sent to a cell phone, facial recognition, or even a voice instruction, it will make your business data more secure.
What makes MFA even better is that it is often free, and it’s simple to install.
Get A Network Assessment
You might think your network is bullet-proof, but is it really? When was the last time you checked? And if you did check, did you know what you were looking for? Unless you’re an expert in technology and computer networks, the answer is probably no, and that could mean you’ve missed something important.
By having a regular network assessment carried out by specialists, you can be sure that, should something be flagged, a solution will be found too. Any weak areas can be strengthened and you can be sure your network is secure.
Use The Principle Of Least Privilege
Although this might sound like a complicated system, what the principle of privilege essentially means is that your team only has access to the data they need to do their jobs, and nothing more.
Not only does this mean that you can keep your most important documents and systems safe from accidental errors, but you can also protect them from hackers who wouldn’t be able to access the most sensitive data. With 60% of small businesses who suffer a cyber attack going out of business within six months, this is crucial.
There is really only one way to be entirely sure that your systems are completely secure, and that’s to monitor them 24/7. Having this element of protection done in-house would be all but impossible; the expense of the overtime alone would be huge, let alone the logistics of such a big task.
For this, as well as many other cybersecurity details, it’s best to outsource to cybersecurity experts that know just how to monitor these systems in a cost-effective way, with the right tools and experience to do the job well.
Use Strong Passwords
Although we’ve mentioned that passwords alone aren’t going to be enough to prevent a cyberattack in many cases, it’s still important to have strong passwords for your networks and programs.
Even if a hacker can get through, the longer it takes, the less keen they will be to keep going, especially when there are thousands of other businesses with weaker passwords where they can be in and out with a lower risk of getting caught.
Passwords should be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and ideally a random string of characters to make them even harder to crack. On top of this, changing all passwords every six months or so makes hacking even harder for cybercriminals.
Train Your Employees In Cybersecurity Threats
You can have all the precautions in the world in place, but if your team isn’t aware of what to look for when it comes to cybersecurity threats, or why it’s so important to have this knowledge, you might effectively be leaving the front door unlocked.
Ensure your employees have full training about cybersecurity threats, and that this training is updated regularly. At the very least, they need to be aware of the risks of malware and data ransom.
It’s perfectly possible for a small business to arm itself against cybercriminals in a cost-effective and relatively simple ways. Everything mentioned above should be within the budget of even the smallest of businesses, and it’s important to bear in mind that even if you’re not comfortable with paying for a third party to help you, the cost would be much higher if a cybercriminal were to break in.
Begin by contacting a professional MSP for an assessment of your current security measures, and to discuss your options with regards to monitoring and installation of updated tools. It’s never too late to get started with your network security.