The digital age has brought about many advantages for businesses. For instance, it's now easier than ever to market your business with digital marketing methods, sell products online, and gain customers or clients from around the world. However, no matter what kind of business you're running, it's crucial to take cyber security seriously.
Research from the US National Cyber Security Alliance found that a whopping 60% of small businesses go out of business within 6 months after suffering from a cyber attack. Major corporations are also vulnerable, and many experience regular security threats. Fortunately, using the right strategies can help you prevent cyberattacks. Here are eight essential cyber security tips to protect your business.
1. Protect Your Computers With Security Software
Practically every business nowadays relies on computers to handle all kinds of daily tasks, from administration to communication. As such, it's important to ensure that your computers are as safe and secure as possible. Relying on Windows Defender isn't enough - you need to equip your computers with high-quality cyber security software.
Antivirus suites and firewalls can help you detect and prevent certain cyberattacks. However, you might also want to consider endpoint security software. Endpoint security apps can help you ward off cyberattacks before they hit your computers, protecting you from all kinds of dangerous threats.
2. Secure Other Electronic Devices
While it's important to protect your computers from cyberattacks, you should also consider the other electronic devices you use in your business. For instance, smartphones are often targeted by cyber attackers, so if you and your employees use your phones for business matters, you need to keep them protected.
Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful security apps and features you can use for your smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices. You might even want to use a separate phone for business purposes with extra security features and perhaps even supply your employees with secured devices.
3. Keep Your Devices And Software Up To Date
Keeping up to date with the latest technology updates is also important. Many cyberattacks target vulnerabilities in outdated software, so make sure you perform regular updates on all the electronic devices that you use in your business.
Checking for Windows Updates regularly can help ensure that your computers are up to date if you're using Windows computers. You should also check your smartphone for updates regularly. Updating your security software to the latest versions will also help you avoid many vulnerabilities.
4. Create Regular Backups Of Your Business Data
Backing up your data is another essential task you need to perform in case of any unexpected security threats. Many cyberattacks target your business data, such as ransomware attacks which encrypt your important business files and make you pay if you want to access them again.
Fortunately, keeping regular backups can help you avoid these attacks from harming your business. You might want to use a cloud backup account to create backups of your data each day. It can also help to keep physical backups on a solid-state drive (SSD). That way, your data is safe and secure even if you can't access the internet or your cloud account is compromised.
5. Use A VPN For Your Business Devices
A virtual private network or VPN can be incredibly helpful for protecting your business data. You and your employees will access all kinds of websites and apps throughout the day, and using a VPN can help you protect your data and keep yourself hidden, helping you avoid many potential cyberattacks.
Many VPNs offer well-priced accounts for business users. These accounts allow you to secure multiple devices throughout your business. That way, you and all of your employees can connect to the internet securely. VPNs also have other perks, such as allowing employees to work remotely with more security and helping you access geo-blocked content.
6. Create Security Guidelines For Your Employees
Even when business owners do everything right, sometimes companies are compromised due to naive employees who aren't aware of cyberattacks. For instance, if one of your employees accidentally clicks on a dodgy link or enters their password on a phishing site, it could cause all kinds of damage to your business.
As such, you should create comprehensive security guidelines for your employees. Remind them to use strong passwords and regularly change them. You should also inform them of potential threats such as phishing attacks and tell them how to protect themselves. This can help you protect your business from various liabilities.
7. Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks
You should also take steps to secure your wireless network. An unwanted person accessing your WiFi network can cause various security problems, and connecting to insecure or public Wi-Fi networks while you're handling sensitive business data is even riskier. Fortunately, a few simple steps can help you enhance your network security.
Make sure you change your router name to something inconspicuous that doesn't give your business name away. You should also use a strong, secure password and only give it to trustworthy employees. You should also set your Wi-Fi to the strongest security protocol, which is currently Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3)
8. Stay Updated On The Latest Threats
Many types of cyber attacks are now well-known by businesses, giving them plenty of opportunities to secure their assets and reduce the risk of being affected. With that said, new kinds of cyber attacks and vulnerabilities are emerging all the time. As such, it's important to stay updated on potential threats.
You should regularly read cyber security blogs and newsletters to learn what kind of threats your business might be vulnerable to. You should also keep your employees informed by providing them with any information necessary to keep themselves protected. You might even want to hold security meetings or send security newsletters to your staff. That way, you can prevent potential threats and keep your business as safe as possible.
A single cyber attack can be fatal for your small business, so it's important to take cyber security as seriously as possible. These eight essential cyber security tips can help you protect your small business and prevent all kinds of digital threats. It's also important to keep yourself updated on new threats so you can take steps to reduce the risk of your business being targeted.
While these tips are especially important for small businesses, businesses of all sizes should do whatever they can to avoid cyber threats. Many come unexpectedly, so you should do whatever you can to protect your business data from being compromised. You might even want to consult with cyber security experts to help you take extra steps and make helpful plans to protect and secure your business assets.