June 15, 2021 | 4-minute read (739 words)
Small- and medium-size businesses often rely on innovative technology to flourish in the contemporary economy, but they also need to be conscious of the risks that new technologies pose.
Broadband and information technology help small businesses expand market reach while also enhancing production and efficiency. But the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals means businesses also need a cybersecurity system to protect themselves, their customers and their data from risk. Hackers and fraudsters prey on small and medium-sized companies, and if you operate a business, you may not be aware of how to protect your assets from intruders.
Here are some hacks to show you how to keep your company safe from hackers.
- Train personnel on the importance of cybersecurity.
Establish fundamental security practices and regulations for workers, such as mandating secure passwords and proper internet use rules that spell out the consequences of breaching firm cybersecurity policy. In addition, create guidelines for how you manage and secure customer information and other sensitive data.
- Secure computers, networks and data from cyberattacks.
Maintain a clean machine: The most robust defenses against viruses, malware and other internet threats are the newest security software, web browsers and operating systems. Configure your antivirus software to scan after each update. Other essential software updates should be installed as soon as they become available.
- Protect your internet connection using a firewall.
A firewall is a collection of applications that work together to restrict unauthorized access to data on a private network. Ensure your operating system's firewall is turned on, or download and install free firewall software from the Internet. If your workers are remote, make sure a firewall secures their computers.
- Make a plan for dealing with mobile devices.
Mobile devices can pose serious security and management problems, especially if they contain sensitive data or access the business network. To prevent thieves from stealing information when the phone is on a public network, users need to password-protect their devices, install security software and encrypt their data. Set up protocols for reporting missing or stolen equipment.
- Have backups of critical corporate data and information.
Create a backup for your data on all PCs regularly. Word processing papers, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files are all examples of critical data. If feasible, back up data automatically or regularly store copies elsewhere or in the cloud.
- Set up user accounts for all staff and restrict physical access to your machines.
Unauthorized persons should not be able to access or use company computers. Also, laptops are soft targets for theft or loss, so keep them secured while not in use. Ensure each employee has their own user account and that they use secure passwords. Also, only trusted IT employees and critical workers should be granted administrative rights.
- Keep your Wi-Fi networks safe.
If your office has a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is safe, encrypted and hidden. Set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the name of the network, also known as the Service Set Identifier, to hide your Wi-Fi network or SSID. The router's access must be password-protected.
- When it comes to payment cards, use best practices.
Collaborate with banks or processors to guarantee that the most reliable and verified technologies and anti-fraud services are employed. Your bank or processor may impose additional security responsibilities as part of your arrangement. Separate payment systems from other less-secure programs, and avoid processing payments and surfing the Internet on the same computer.
- Restrict employees' access to data and information, as well as software installation power.
Access to all data systems should not be given to a single individual. Employees must only have access to the data systems they require for their tasks, and there must be a security policy for the installation of software.
- Authentication and passwords
Employees should be asked to use unique passwords and update them every three months. In addition, consider using multifactor authentication, which requires more information than just a password to obtain access. Check with your sensitive data providers, notably banking institutions, to discover if multifactor authentication is available for your account.
You can also employ a two-step verification technique that necessitates a login and password plus a piece of information that is only available to the user – such as a code delivered to their phone. Hackers will have a more challenging time gaining access to critical data with this new layer of security.