In a survey conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 88 percent of respondents believe that their small business is susceptible to online threats. This statistic demonstrates that modern small business owners are more aware of looming digital threats.
However, simply being aware of these dangers is not enough. Small business owners must be proactive when it comes to protecting their companies from cybercrime. Even a single successful cyberattack can cost a small business $200,000 or more, which can permanently ruin the company.
Unfortunately, many small business owners falsely believe that they cannot afford cybersecurity solutions. You may have bought into this common misconception yourself. In actuality, there are several effective and affordable ways to protect your small business from online threats, including the following four.
1. Train Your Staff
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When examining ways to protect your business, step one should involve reevaluating your employee training strategies. Do you currently provide your staff with any cybersecurity training? If not, then it is time to start.
Human error can allow hackers to circumvent even the best cybersecurity software. If an employee opens a suspicious e-mail or clicks on a malicious link, they could expose your network to hackers.
Therefore, you must teach your employees good cybersecurity habits. Educate them on the signs of phishing attempts, establish a protocol for reporting suspicious messages and encourage them to use virtual private networks (VPNs) and malware protection software.
2. Secure Your Network
Like virtually every other modern business, your company likely has a Wi-Fi network. This network is in place so that your staff can carry out business-related tasks. If you serve customers on-site, you may also have a guest Wi-Fi network that they can use while they wait for assistance.
While having a Wi-Fi network is critical to your company’s day-to-day operations, it is vital to secure this network. Specifically, you should require users to input a password in order to access the network.
Ensure that you have customized the password and are no longer using factory default settings. If you offer guest Wi-Fi, update the password for this network regularly.
3. Bundle Identity Theft Protection & Antivirus Software
In addition to investing in employee training, you should also install quality antivirus software. You should purchase VPN software, password manager applications, and cloud storage space for your backups — you may even want to purchase protection to cover the expenses associated with a data breach or incident of identity theft.
In the past, you would have to purchase all of these licenses and protections separately. However, these solutions are now available in affordable and easy-to-deploy bundles. If you want to learn more, check out the Norton 360 with LifeLock promotion. You will find that protecting your business is far more affordable than you ever thought possible.
4. Require Regular Password Updates
Requiring your staff to regularly update their passwords is a great way to bolster business security. As a general rule, your staff should be required to update their password every 90 days. This approach will make your business less vulnerable to a cyberattack.
Instead of attempting to keep up with your staff members’ passwords manually, use a password manager. This user-friendly application will automatically prompt your staff to update their password when it is about to expire.
Protect Your Business From Online Threats
With cyberattacks on the rise, it has become more important than ever to be proactive about data security. The strategies mentioned above will help you do just that while also making your business a less appealing target for cybercriminals.