Every other day, the social media pop-ups with the incident of data breaches. The big tech organizations that have invested a lot in their IT and threat management departments are clueless when such an incident happens. With the changing threat landscape, cyber-criminals have become smarter than before. Every time they come with something new and unique, which easily surpasses the security systems. Attackers target businesses regardless of their size. It’s especially true for small businesses as the average cost of a data breach across SMBs values for $3.9 million. Most of the small business owners often neglect their business security. They believe that they’re safe from the clutches of hackers because attackers target large companies and enterprises.
An important point to consider is when hackers successfully circumvent giant tech’s security systems than why not of small businesses that lack underlying security. Within a fraction of a few minutes, hackers can compromise the security of small businesses. Such companies aim to grow their business by overlooking the most fundamental step of security. Hackers are always around small businesses, and it’s their favorite target. 60% of the small businesses experience a data breach or some other cyber-attack during the first six months, and surprisingly, they even don’t know about it.
As 43% of the cyber-attacks target small businesses, it’s imperative to boost small businesses’ security. Whenever hackers find a loophole, they take advantage of it and steal money and other sensitive information such as business partners, client’s data, company’s, and employees’ details. When customers and business partners get to know about it, they shift to your competitors. It causes loss in finance and relationships with the clients.
Why the Security of Small Businesses Matters?
Data security is the prime responsibility of the SMBs. Large enterprises, unlike small businesses, allocate a specific budget for safeguarding the security of their organization. They also make use of the capabilities of professionals to boost their cybersecurity infrastructure. On the other hand, small businesses either make no efforts or do little to protect themselves from online threats like:
- Phishing Attacks
- Malicious codes/software
Cyber-attackers who’re aware of this vulnerability make them their easy prey. There are two main reasons why the security of small businesses is essential. Firstly, to protect the company from the threats mentioned above.
Secondly, most small businesses to grow their venture in a low budget use third-party sellers to conduct daily tasks. It significantly increases the risk of a security breach. It’s because third-party vendors often sell your data on the dark web or to other sellers without your consent, and they likely use your data with a wrong intention. At times, legal action can be taken against you for committing a crime that you never commit. Thus, you must pay attention to the security of your business. No matter if you set a meager budget for this task, but, you should do something to avoid the damage later.
One smart way is to offer internships to students or cybersecurity graduates. Ask them to work for you to polish their skills and help them gain professional experience. Upon completion of the internship, award them with certificates or offer jobs to the most deserving candidates. In this way, you can surely enhance the security of small businesses.
Six Ways to Strengthen Security of the Small Businesses
Ineffective policies of mobile devices, lack of knowledge about potential online threats, using a free network connection, vulnerable passwords, and POS systems can result in devastating outcomes. Much work is needed to remain on the safe side.
Although there are several different ways to ensure your security, here we’re going to highlight six ways to enhance small businesses’ security.
Use Cloud Storage Services
Practicing the latest cybersecurity practices boost the security of small businesses. One such measure is to store your data on the cloud. By using cloud storage services, one can ensure the security of its business. Back up your data on the cloud to have complete control over your data. Cloud services offer built-in security protection features for maximum security. Besides individual usage, cloud service providers are famous for securing businesses and safeguarding customers’ data so use them.
Hire Ethical Hacker
Another way to enhance the security of a small business is to hire an ethical hacker. Like a malicious hacker, an ethical hacker uses tactics to protect your company’s valuable data. They make use of network penetration tools to detect and fix network vulnerabilities. Employing ethical hackers helps to improve the overall cybersecurity culture, so do hire them.
Don’t Neglect Vulnerabilities
Malicious actors are looking for loopholes within an organization, so; they can take advantage of it. To upgrade the security of small businesses, make sure you don’t overlook vulnerabilities. For instance, if your password gets outdated and it’s notifying you so, immediately change your password. Set a strong password for your system, and if you can’t, then use the best password managers.
The IT team should create a separate administrative account for each employee. Install antivirus software in every system and it’s the responsibility of all the staff members to update the system from time to time.
Secure Your Network with a VPN
Invest in the best VPN and secure your Wi-Fi from the access of any unknown user. Make sure that only your employees can access it. If you worry about the password being compromised then setting up a Wi-Fi connection in a way that prevents the workforce from knowing the passwords is a good option.
Employees should also care about the network they’re using. They should avoid participating in meetings in any coffee shop that offers free network connection. And they want so, they should use a free VPN. Here are the top five free VPNs to use in 2020.
Secondly, if you want to have open Wi-Fi for your customers in the office, go with setting up a separate network. Guests should not use the same Wi-Fi as that of the employees. By doing so, you stop unwanted people from accessing the business network, which also helps to boost the security of small businesses.
Any unauthorized person won’t be allowed to access the enterprise’s accounts or device. Even the staff members should not access any information that’s unauthorized to use. Everyone should have their logins and must prevent the sharing of information to their accounts. All this helps in limiting the privileges of employees and the chances of hackers bypassing the security systems.
The weakest link in any firm to fight against cyberattacks is human error. The easiest way to boost small businesses’ security from potential threats is to provide proper training to all staff members regarding cybersecurity. Weekly seminars and training sessions should be held on how to detect the threats and solutions should be proposed to handle that situation. It’ll also help them in preventing phishing scams.
With the evolution of technology, cyber-attacks are becoming more advanced. If the small business takes a long time to implement security practices then they are prone to attacks and hackers. Following the steps mentioned above boosts the security of the small business. These practices will not just grow your business but also help you compete with your competitors.