Small business owners are under the constant threat of cyber-attacks and the fear that they do not have adequate resources to protect themselves. Every day, the number of cyberattacks is growing and increasing the chance that your organization’s data may end up in the hands of a malicious attacker. At the Berkshire Hathaway 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting, Warren Buffet stated “Cyber is uncharted territory. It’s going to get worse, not better.”
So, how can cybersecurity be improved for your business? Here are some key steps to getting started.
The easiest thing that can be done to beef up your security and help protect your data is to change your passwords. Many people do not realize the frequency at which data breaches are occurring and the likelihood that personal emails or data may have already been illegally accessed and released into the public domain. While it is important to update passwords frequently, you also don’t want to do it too much. This can cause users to constantly forget their passwords or just change minor details to remember them easily. It is important for employees to realize that simple variations of the same password are much easier for hackers to guess.
Using a password manager can help keep track of multiple passwords for each employee. This way, your organization can have the security benefits of frequently changed and unique passwords without placing the difficulty of remembering a variety of ever-changing passwords on your employees. Password managers can also help allocate access to employees to provide permission to perform certain tasks like posting to social media accounts or updating your website.
Hackers often use old credentials to try and access your network. If you have employees that are no longer with your organization or no longer need access to certain systems, be sure to delete these unused accounts.
Another simple way to help remain secure is by enabling two-factor authentication to your employees’ logins. This is typically done via registering a mobile phone or app to provide an additional layer of security, making it much harder for attackers to access accounts.
Software updates can be too easy to dismiss and forget about when they pop up at an inconvenient time. But it is the delaying of software updates that give attackers ample opportunity to breach your systems. Software updates and patches are created to correct bugs or vulnerabilities and are essential in keeping your systems secure. As an example, one of the biggest data breaches in history happened to Equifax because of an unpatched software vulnerability.
Phishing attacks target users by impersonating credible sources typically via email and text to get a user to click on an infected link or attachment. These attacks are extremely convincing and often play on current fears such as the COVID-19 pandemic to create a sense of urgency. Training employees on how to spot suspicious emails and what protocols to take if they think that they have been targeted can help keep your organization secure.
Cybersecurity is critical for small businesses, but many do not have the budget to support an in-house IT team. This is where using a Managed Service Provider like MBC is a smart move. Managed Services is a cost-effective solution for business owners to get the security and knowledge they need to protect their systems without having to maintain a full time IT department. To find out more about how MBC can help support your business, get a free assessment today.