An upsurge in cybersecurity threats has been noticed in the remote working environment. Approximately 60% of small businesses lost their data after a cyberattack due to a lack of network security. Thus, small-scale company owners should emphasise enhancing their cybersecurity.
A security lock is not enough to prevent unwanted cybercrimes. You need to invest in effective security tools to minimise online threats. Additionally, small business owners should make a response plan. It will help you to recover important business data after a cyberattack.
Most small business owners don’t invest in cybersecurity policies due to a lack of money. But, you can protect the data with a minimum investment using cloud services.
Keep the office laptops or desktops updated to reduce security risks. Don’t access malicious sites or links; they could cause data threats.
Effective Cybersecurity Tips every Small Business Owner Should Follow
Approximately 37% of small businesses face severe financial loss after a data breach. Almost 25% of entrepreneurs file for bankruptcy after a cyberattack. Most small companies run out of business after losing important data. Thus, it is imperative to focus on increasing online safety to avoid security risks.
According to Data Recovery Dubai, entrepreneurs should develop a data recovery strategy. It will help them to combat data loss situations. Besides, you should set a secure password for the office devices. Don’t use easy-to-decode passcodes like “1234567” or your name. Instead, combine upper and lower-case letters and numbers in the laptop password.
Here are more tips to prevent cyber crimes in small businesses:
1. Use a Business Firewall
A firewall stops a hacker from accessing the small business network. It protects the users’ mobile devices from unwanted phishing attacks. Besides, a next-generation firewall can block incoming network traffic. This security tool can even help you to monitor suspicious online activities.
The firewall provides an additional layer of security in the business network. It helps small business owners to stop unwanted login attempts.
Do you want your employees to stop accessing malicious sites? Modify the firewall settings to restrict access to those sites.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Firewall for Small Businesses
There are different types of firewalls available for small businesses. Go for a firewall that has a “stateful inspection” feature. It will help you determine the connection state and reduce exposure to data threats. Additionally, the firewall should have the “packet filtering” option to counter cyber threats.
Choose a network firewall that has built-in router functionality to filter traffic. Always use a firewall with the “Deep packet inspection” (DPI) functionality. This DPI mobile works with an IDS/IPS module to identify viruses or other malware.
Here are the other must-have features of a business firewall:
- Email spam filtering
- Web filtering
- VirtuDDoS protection
- Wal Private Network (VPN)
- Malware scanning
- SSL/TLS Encryption/Decryption
2. Take a Data Backup Daily
Protect the small company from cyber attacks by backing up the data on a cloud app. Most employees don’t restore essential client data on a secured device. Thus, small businesses face severe data loss issues after a malware attack. Keep the business data on a storage medium which will be hard to access.
Do you want to restore the data in a cloud platform but don’t know which will be the right one? Well, go for the cloud app with the best security features.
It should be easy to access and compatible with office devices. Use a cloud app that lets you transfer any file, regardless of size.
Which Cloud Storage Solutions will be Ideal for Small Businesses?
There are many easy-to-use cloud storage apps available for small businesses. You can install these apps on office desktops from Microsoft Store.
Do you want to restore Mac’s business data on a cloud service? Go to the App Store and get a compatible app for the device. Here are the cloud platforms where you can keep sensitive data safely:
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Amazon S3
Where Should You Restore the Small Business Data?
Most small business owners fail to choose the correct location to store the data. Thus, they experience data loss issues after a DoS attack. However, you can prevent that by restoring the files to an external drive. Entrepreneurs can also consider keeping the required data in NAS drives.
Always restore the business data at least in 3 laptops instead of 1. It will help you to retrieve the data even after a cyberattack. Besides, you should keep the RTO and RPO time low to avoid losing client data. So, develop a data storage plan to protect small businesses from hackers.
Also Read: How to Secure & Improve results Your Website with HTTPS protocol
3. Focus on Email Security
Email plays a pivotal role in this online working environment. More than 91% of all cyber attacks begin with a phishing email scam. Thus, you should increase email security to prevent data breaches.
How can you keep email apps secure? Entrepreneurs should train their employees not to open malicious email links.
Moreover, you should reset the email password after every 3 months. But, don’t use a password like “password” or “user”. Instead, combine letters, numbers and special characters in the email password. You can also use phrases instead of words in the password to enhance email security.
Best Practices to Increase Email Security of Small Businesses
Use an email service that offers two-factor authentication to avoid cybersecurity threats. Don’t open any email attachments if they come from an unknown source. Besides, you should never access emails from public Wi-Fi.
Train your employees not to share their email addresses or password with anyone. Log out of the account after checking or sending emails.
4. Invest in the Best Antivirus Software
Don’t have antivirus software on office laptops? Then, it’s high time to get one. These applications will protect small business systems from cyber attacks. The latest antivirus programs can also detect suspicious activities. Get the ultimate protection from hackers using the best antivirus software.
You must know that emails are a common source of virus transfer. Once the office device gets infected with a virus, it can corrupt important files. You might even fail to access the computer after the virus attack. Thus, use antivirus software that can provide email protection and secure the network.
Here is the antivirus software designed for small businesses:
- AVG Business
- McAfee Total Protection
- Norton Small Business
- Sophos Intercept X
Factors to Consider when Choosing an Antivirus Software for Small Businesses
Small business owners must check a few factors before installing an antivirus app. Check whether the software has an “Email Scanning” feature. It should offer protection against malware along with viruses. Go for an antivirus program that scans the file before downloading them.
Besides, you should check whether the program is compatible with the office device. It should provide real-time information about virus scanning. Check the security app’s price and space requirements before the installation. Don’t forget to renew the antivirus program once the free trial is over.
5. Secure the Wi-Fi Connection
A small vulnerability in the office network can give a hacker access to the business data. Thus, you should increase online security to safeguard confidential data. 1 in 3 entrepreneurs does not change the router password after the initial setup. However, this can make the device vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Every small business owner should reset the Wi-Fi password after 3 months. Set a unique password with at least 12-20 characters, including numbers. Additionally, you should change the default network name. Turn off the network name broadcasting feature when using the Wi-Fi. Besides, you should always keep the router’s firmware updated to avoid security risks.
Best Solutions to Secure the Small Business Network
Changing the Wi-Fi password and network name is not enough. You also need to modify the encryption method from WPA-2 to WEP. Most routers come with advanced security features, like SPI Firewall. Use these high-end features to block unauthorised users from accessing the office network.
Follow these solutions to increase business network security:
- Use the MAC filtering option
- Hide the router’s default IP address
- Remove the malicious files and programs from mobile devices
- Create a guest network for clients and set a new password
- Disable the WPS functionality feature when the Wi-Fi is no longer required
Ultimate Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses
Outdated business software and applications can cause security issues. Thus, train the employees to update the work-related apps regularly. It will help you to reduce the potential vulnerabilities in small businesses.
Additionally, every entrepreneur should invest in Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) technology. It will help reduce the cybercrime rates in the business. MFA makes it difficult for hackers to access the data, preventing cyber attacks.
You should also avoid using unsecured third-party payment gateways. Most of the time, these apps steal the user’s bank-related details. Thus, choose a reliable payment app for a safe online transaction.
Switch to Virtual Private Network (VPN) to browse the internet without cybersecurity threats. So, contact an IT support expert and quickly deploy these effective security measures.
Also read: What are malware attacks & How to Beware of malware cybercrime