While small businesses might think they are less susceptible to data breaches due to their size, small companies still should be on the defence when it comes to cybersecurity. Small Business Trends reports that 43 per cent of cyber attacks target smaller sized companies. To make sure your business isn’t part of this statistic, here are some ways you and your staff can protect your network.
Educate yourself and your staff
Knowing how to keep servers safe and important information protected is the first step in boosting your cybersecurity measures. IT departments are not the only employees who should know the best technology practices, so be sure to keep yourself in the know. As a company’s CEO or president, you should be able to keep your employees updated on the latest news. Running routine check-ins and trainings with the entire staff can help combat any vagueness that comes with cybersecurity. Teach staff how cybersecurity works, best practices, and how to properly use the security systems your business already has implemented. Staying transparent and providing proper education are ways you can make sure your staff won’t be responsible for any major data breaches.
Remember the dangers of Public WiFi
Remote workers are on the rise for many businesses today due to the advancements in technology. Whether an employee works remotely, is travelling, or just working outside of the office for the day, they are connecting company devices to public WiFi. This can seem harmless since various public places offer free Internet, however, when using personal devices and especially company devices, there are dangers in connecting to public Internet.
First, you don’t know how secure their public WiFi is. Free hotspots require no authentication and are welcome to everyone. This makes it attractive to customers, which indirectly makes it extremely attractive to any cybercriminals. Free hotspots can allow access to unsecured devices on the same network. To make sure this doesn’t happen to your personal device or your portable company device, having your own personal digital security, such as a virtual private network, is important. VPNs are engineered to protect your personal device and your personal information. Cybercriminals are looking for the easiest and least secure devices to hack. If you make it difficult for them, they will be less likely to invade your security, but instead, find another open door device on the connection.
Keep your devices updated
Whether we forget about a notification or don’t want to take the time to let our software load, so many of us don’t update our systems on a regular basis. When we don’t update our operating systems, we are missing out on vital security that new updates provide. Unfortunately, many employees forget to update and this can create a hole in a company’s cybersecurity. Enforcing mandatory updates to software and cybersecurity can keep your system running properly. For smaller companies, this is more achievable due to their size, in comparison to a Fortune 500 sized business.
Holes in security and breaches like these can cause small companies a pretty penny to recover from. Small Business Digest says that “Over a two-year timespan following a breach, U.S. companies pay an average of $5.85 million per breach.” Big companies might consider this to be a huge hit financially, so for small companies, this could be something that would put them out of business.
Small companies often have an advantage due to their size. Being as agile as they are, CEO’s are able to promote these best practices to all of their employees. This ultimately makes small businesses more secure in the long run. The more prepared they are, the less likely the companies will be to fall victim to any cybersecurity breaches.