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Cost-effective ways for small businesses to improve cybersecurity

If you’re a small business owner looking out to implement strategies that can better secure your organization’s network infrastructure, here’s what you need to know.

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The internet has changed a lot in how businesses work and function. Even if your business isn’t an eCommerce platform or has little to do with the internet, there will be third-party online services and applications that your employees use daily.

Moreover, as businesses today are primarily reliant on user information and sensitive data, every business must focus on securing the sensitive and private user information they handle.

A common misconception is that cyberattacks only affect the big companies out there. This is very much far from the truth, and the only reason why only cyberattacks against the big players get publicized so much is that, well, they’re prominent and popular.

According to research by Symantec, 43 percent of small businesses are targeted by cyber attacks.

Shockingly, another research article by The Denver Post states that about 60 percent of small-scale businesses are out of business within just 6 months of being subjected to a cyber attack.

So, it is evident that small-scale businesses suffer much more as an after effect of cyber attacks than big corporations.

What keeps most small businesses away from implementing a proper cyber security infrastructure is that they think it’ll become quite expensive and affect their operational budget.

Suppose you’re a small business owner looking out to implement strategies that can better secure your organization’s network infrastructure today. In that case, we are here with a list of practices that can help you do so.

Cost-Effective Ways Small Businesses Can Ensure Cyber Security

  • Educate the Employees About Cybersecurity Practices:

A study by tech-giant IBM states that about 95 percent of all cybersecurity breaches occur due to human error.

This comes as no surprise as one of the most common forms of cyber threats is phishing attacks and malware injection, which cannot be possible in most cases without humans within the organization committing mistakes.

So, how can you educate and spread awareness among the employees to stay clear off such threats?

First of all, everyone in the organization must be aware of the common cyber threats out there, such as phishing attacks, malware within applications/websites, etc.

Secondly, training must be given to the employees about identifying potential cyber security threats and responding to them.

Also, suppose there exist network security policies and procedures within the organization. In that case, employees must be made aware of the same to follow a standard set of guidelines to stay protected from cyber attacks.

  • Implement a Secure Password Management Systems

Lack of password security is another factor contributing to cyber attackers being successful in gaining access to your network.

Despite passwords being the first line of defense for any network infrastructure, most people pay the least attention to it.

The best way to ensure password security is by implementing a password management system within your organization.

Password managers help in creating strong & complex passwords which are not easily breakable by hackers. Moreover, as all the passwords are stored within a single master account within the password manager, the employee(s) don’t have to remember each one of them.

Implementing a password management system also ensures that employees can access their work-related accounts from anywhere they work from and on any device.

Also, it becomes easier for the network security team within your organization to track down malicious activities and intervene when something’s not right.

  • Setup Network Firewall & Install Antivirus Software

Improper network infrastructure is another way that hackers gain access to your organization’s data. While setting up a network within your company office, make sure that well-defined firewall policies prevent entry from outside the network.

Similarly, close all the network ports that aren’t already used by the organization’s infrastructure to prevent further unauthorized access.

It is also essential that antivirus software is installed across all the devices connected to the organization’s network. Active antivirus software detects malicious files being downloaded/saved to the systems and automatically removes such harmful files or instructs users to do the same.

One important point to note is that people tend to disable the antivirus on their system to make it easier for them to transfer/download files. However, this can be prevented by assigning a master password required to disable the antivirus service running on the computer.

  • Regularly Backup Data to Secure Servers

Another common form of cyber threat faced by businesses is ransomware attacks. In ransomware attacks, the attacker locks access to all files & folders once they gain entry to the system and then demands a ransom to provide you the access again.

If such attacks happen on your organization’s network, the ransom demand will be quite high depending on how much user information you have in hand. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the access is returned once you pay the ransom.

One of the easiest ways to mitigate a ransomware attack is by having an up-to-date backup of all the data within your organization. This way, you can flush the system and restore the latest backup to get operations up and running without hassles.

Cloud-based data backup is highly recommended because the backup data gets stored across multiple servers. So, there is little to no risk of data corruption. Moreover, the data can be accessed at all times from anywhere.

What More Can Be Done?

Ensuring cybersecurity within your organization isn’t a one-stop-shop process. Instead, you need to follow a rinse-and-repeat policy.

This is as the digital world keeps progressing, so do the cybersecurity threats. Periodic evaluation of the latest and most prominent cyber threats is essential to ensure that your organization is protected from any form of attacks in the long run.

Using the latest cybersecurity tools, regularly auditing the network security and policies, and offering training to all the employees in the organization can definitely help a lot in keeping your office environment safe from cyber terrorists.

Additionally, you may want to hire a cyber security company to help with securing your business. Finding a great cyber security team can be difficult, but when you find the right one you’ll know that you’re in good hands for life.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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