Although your business might be small, that doesn’t mean it is immune to cyber threats and cybersecurity risks. Unfortunately, many smaller companies have fewer resources—and fewer IT personnel—to help fortify security measures and prevent potential cyber-attacks.
If you’re a small or midsize business, here’s how to prepare and prioritize cybersecurity to keep your company safe and secure.
The Changing Landscape of Cybersecurity
As a small or midsize business owner, you’ve probably read hundreds of headlines about cybersecurity breaches or hacks at enterprise companies. Although cybercriminals consistently make the news for targeting some of the biggest companies in the world, they also target small and mid-size businesses.
In fact, two-thirds (or 67 percent) of companies with less than 1,000 employees have experienced some form of a cyberattack—and 58 percent have experienced a breach, according to data from 2018.
With the changing landscape of remote work, cybersecurity is even more critical. Unfortunately, very few businesses are set up to operate 100 percent remotely—and many opportunistic attackers can identify insecure home networks and target household smart devices. One study found that the rate of cyberattacks increased four times during the pandemic and consisted of credential theft, email phishing scams, and much more.
Whether you’re a remote company or not, having employees work from home can pose significant security risks without proper preparation.
Tips for Strengthening Your Cybersecurity as a Small Business
Monitor and Target
One of the easiest—and most underestimated—ways to strengthen your cybersecurity as a small business is to keep your software and technology up to date. Many hackers are scanning for security vulnerabilities and weaknesses to target. Monitor your software monthly and ensure everything is updated and working smoothly.
Prioritize Cloud & Network Security
Many small businesses leverage cloud-based infrastructure, applications, and data storage—and rightly so. These digital systems offer some of the most accessible, efficient, and streamlined products. However, make sure you choose cloud-based platforms and applications that provide the right level of security for your needs—and don’t forget to enable multi-factor authentication or a secure password for added protection.
Your network security also matters. One of the most straightforward steps you can take is restricting access to your local wi-fi with a strong password. If you have a remote team, you can also provide them with instructions on ensuring their wifi is adequately protected.
Build a Culture that Prioritizes Cybersecurity
Whether you’re a CEO, president, or founder of your small business, you can build a culture that prioritizes cybersecurity. As a leader, be vocal about the importance of cybersecurity—and be sure that all department heads know why this matters. If you have a Board, provide regular briefings on cybersecurity.
When you hire new employees, create onboarding materials to provide information on best practices for internet usage, such as:
- Spotting phishing emails
- Avoiding suspicious downloads
- Protecting sensitive customer or vendor data
- Enabling authentication tools (consider a password manager or multi-factor authentication)
- Using safe internet browsing practices
Invest in Cybersecurity
The only way to completely eliminate the risk of cybersecurity breaches is to stop using the internet entirely—something that is out of the question for nearly all businesses today. However, you can optimize your business’s digital health with the right strategy and support.
If you’re a small or mid-sized business interested in leveraging the help of an IT professional, Finland Tech is happy to help. We offer network security, network & server monitoring, spam filtering & phishing protection, antivirus & endpoint protection, and more.