The big guys in silicon valley and wall street have billion-dollar technologies defending their corporations. But what’s a small business to do in an increasingly digital world with sophisticated technologies and criminal masterminds?
A business without the assistance of a cybersecurity services company puts its employees, brand, clients, and end-users at incredible risk, and small businesses are as insecure as they get. Most employees in small firms know about basic phishing attacks and not much else. Everyone, including solopreneurs and freelancers, should have a well-thought-out cyber strategy. Here are a few suggestions you might employ in your defense:
- Cybersecurity training: Any tech is useless if your personnel is ignorant or incompetent. Educate your team on the latest scams and hacker behavior because most small businesses are breached through social engineering attacks. Drill cybersecurity practices into employee behavior and test preparedness monthly or quarterly. Iterate the motto, “never share passwords and other credentials, not even with the IT head or CEO.” Hire a cybersecurity service provider to do the employee training.
- Password Managers: Protect your business by preventing unauthenticated access to accounts such as social media platforms, research and marketing tools, accounting systems, etc. A cyber security assessment service like SAITSYS could help you set up one.
- Access levels: Follow the hierarchy of your organization and grant different levels of access to freelancers, clients, users, employees, and contractors. Ensure that they cannot access anything unauthorized by cordoning access to software, data, and other systems. Doing so streamlines the whole system to minimize a successful hack. It’s important to remember that many hacks are inside jobs- carried out with the help of an employee. In one particular instance, hackers offered $1million to employees to infiltrate the company network through the installation of ransomware.
- Firewalls & VPNs: A firewall between the internet and your office network is a solid line of defense. Install a firewall for the work-from-home employees as well. If the work-from-employee deals with sensitive data, install a separate internet connection at their home for your company. Insist on using a VPN if the team member works on public wifi networks like coworking spaces or coffee shops.
- Personal Devices: Employees should use company computers to work. Personal devices are very unsafe and are unprotected against trained hackers. Companies allow their employees to use professional emails on their devices, and when these poorly defended devices are breached, hackers gain access to your network.
- Viruses, Spyware, Malware, and Ransomware: All devices must be protected against all these threats. Set up a company cybersecurity messaging channel that can be used to inform all employees about software updates. Such practices guarantee the best protection.
- Upgrades and Updates: Hackers improve all the time. Given enough time, they will deconstruct any line of defense and break in. It is crucial to upgrade your hardware and update your software regularly to have the latest technology at your disposal.
- Network Security: Company networks can be secured in many ways, but the best of them is restricting the wifi and internet access.
- Backup your Data: You must be prepared for a natural disaster, human error, ransomware attack, or other catastrophic incidents. Setting up a separate server will be ideal for on-site backup, and cloud storage can be an off-site fix.
- Improve physical security: Cyberattacks can happen physically too. Often when the hackers can’t find a way into your network digitally, they try to breach your office and steal your servers or infect a computer on your network. Hire security guards or a cyber security monitoring agency specializing in physical protection.
A final tip is to avoid freeware. These usually probe into your network and gather precious data. Remember, you always get what you pay for.
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