Imagine being an entrepreneur who has worked hard to get his small business off the ground and feeling the wrath of cybercriminals who paralyzes your business with a series of deadly cyber attacks. Did you know that 60% of small businesses go out of business six months after they come under a cyber security attack?
Small businesses don’t have big IT budgets like large scale enterprises. Secondly, they consider that cyber security attacks usually target large business and they are safe from it. This leads to their downfall and makes them more vulnerable to cyber attacks. According to the statistics, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses.
So, how can a small business protect itself from cyber security attacks? If that is the question that is bothering you, then you are in the right place. In this article, you will learn about seven steps small businesses can take to safeguard their digital assets from cybercriminals. Read on to find out more.
Create A Security Policy
The first step small businesses should take is to develop a security policy for their business. Most small and even some mid-sized businesses tend to ignore this and pay a hefty price for it. Form a team consisting of IT experts or a committee responsible for creating a security policy for your small business.
Create a cyber security policy that covers all bases such as physical and digital access, disaster recovery, password management, email and network policies, Hostnoc affordable dedicated server, application and software policy. Discuss and document everything within the organization before implementing it. If there are any reservations or questions, the committee or team responsible for security policy should clear all the misconception before getting a go-ahead for its implementation.
Invest in Security Awareness and Training
Yes, you might install the best cyber security systems to secure the digital assets, but what about your employees? Your employees are the weakest link and social engineering attacks capitalize on it. Hackers can easily trick them into taking action they want them to take. That is where cyber security awareness and training comes in handy.
Launch a simulated phishing attack and see which employees fall victim to it. This will give you a clear idea about which employees you should train. Ask your employee to watch short training videos to get a better understanding of how they can protect themselves from falling prey to hackers. You can also hire a cyber security expert or attend workshops, seminars and conferences related to cyber security.
Have you ever analyzed your organizational network? It might have a firewall at the end. Your IT team will be busy in implementing the security policies and roles there. Instead of implementing all the security policies at the endpoint, it should be implemented throughout the network on all devices, irrespective of their location.
You can also get your security vendor on board for this to help you transform your central security management system into a decentralized one. Focus on reviewing threat events and try to identify a security pattern and trend along with traffic behavior in your network.
Most small businesses have already made the transition to the cloud influenced by the perks it offers. Unfortunately, small businesses are unaware of the security and privacy issues attached to the cloud.
When hiring a cloud service provider, it is important to consider whether they will share management controls and visibility with your IT teams or not. More importantly, you should read the service level agreement for support and configuration changes very carefully.
Never make compromises on uptime and availability as they are two critical factors. Choose a cloud provider that has a global presence and work closely with your IT team and assist your IT team in implementation. Start by creating a Proof of Concept (PoC) so that your IT team can evaluate whether the new solution meets business requirements or not.
To save your digital assets from cyber attackers, you will have to think like them. Execute attacks on your network to test your security strength and identify a vulnerability that hackers can exploit to fulfill their malicious designs.
Once you know the loopholes in your system, you can easily patch them so that hackers cannot exploit them. Run vulnerability scans every month and keep looking for new loopholes and fix them. You should allocate some resources for vulnerability testing as it will pay off in the long run.
Keep Everything Up to Date
Whether it is hardware, software or security, make sure to keep everything up to date. Use a firewall to ensure only legitimate traffic enter your network. Install an antivirus, anti-malware and anti-spyware and keep it updated. Install software updates and patches as soon as it is possible.
Keep your wireless networks secure as they are more vulnerable to external attacks. By keeping everything up to date, you can easily save your small business from zero-day attacks and latest cyber security attacks, which is very important for a business in today’s hyper-connected world.
Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
Last but certainly not least is to constantly monitor your network activity. Small businesses tend to neglect it and are usually unaware of suspicious activities taking place in their networks. As a result, they came to know about the attack when the damage has been done and could not do anything about it.
Keep an eye on suspicious activities and raise the red flag as soon as possible. Develop a response mechanism and follow a proactive approach to cyber security than a reactive one. This will help you react to it in a much better way and mitigate the risk.
What steps do you take to protect your small business from cyber attacks? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.