How to Improve Your Small Business’s Cybersecurity

Guest post by Oleh​ Koropenko

​All images by Pexels

Cybercrime is now more of a menace than ever before. The internet has made it all that much easier to take part in criminal activity. The fact that about 80% of American credit cards have been subjected to one form of data theft or another should make the problem more than apparent.

The internet also made the news about cybercrime all that easier to hear. It seems that every month is marked by a major data leak or cyberattack on a large corporation. However, many small businesses believe they are safe from such a disaster, probably because they consider themselves too insignificant a target.

This kind of thinking is just asking for trouble, though. Instead, why not take some simple, practical measures to protect your business? If you don’t know what steps to take to ramp up your cybersecurity as a small business, keep reading!

Train Your Staff

One of the biggest security vulnerabilities in any business is the employees themselves. Human error is what hackers who use phishing and social engineering techniques pray on, after all.

So, the best countermeasure for your company is to get you staff educated on cybersecurity and proper online hygiene. This means teaching them about strong passwords, avoiding suspicious emails, and so on. But don’t stop there—you ought to keep everyone updated on current security practices as they come, too.

Setting up a company policy about handling business information will help, too. That way, everyone will know what poses a threat to your business’ sensitive data. But you should also train your staff on how to deal with a data breach if it happens so that they can mitigate the ensuing damage.

Don’t Neglect Password Protection

Passwords can be a powerful tool in keeping cyberattacks at bay. Unfortunately, many companies and individuals alike think very little of the merit that they bring to the table. That’s why they put subpar or already-used passwords on their personal and office devices—passwords that can oftentimes be cracked with a simple dictionary attack. You can imagine how much of a red flag that is.

To that end, don’t take passwords lightly. Keep them long, unusual, and varied, meaning that they contain numbers and special characters, in addition to both uppercase and lowercase letters. Not only that, but you also need to change them frequently. Instead of wasting time coming up with these passwords yourself, you can simply use a password generator to make great sequences instantly.

Keep Software Updated

Using obsolete software is dangerous to your company’s cybersecurity. Patches often include new protections to already-detected vulnerabilities, meaning that they improve your safety when you install them. But if you ignore these patches, that makes it easier for hackers to breach data.

The solution here is straightforward: update your software regularly. But as simple as that sounds, keeping tabs on every device and all the programs you use is not all that easy. Luckily, there are plenty of patch managers that you can use to stay on top of all updates

Have Backup Solutions at the Ready

Some cyberattacks have the purpose of scrambling your data. Some hackers will encrypt it and demand a ransom for restoring it (known as ransomware), others will corrupt it through something like a virus. Whatever the motive, losing data is painful, to say the least.

To that end, keeping a backup database is a great idea. It will save you a lot of trouble if an attacker manages to mess with your information. You will be able to enjoy a fresh start, rather than having to work your way back to where you were before the breach.

Don’t Ignore the Risk

Above all mentioned, you shouldn’t presume that you’re too small to become a target. In fact, you may be at a greater risk than a multi-million dollar company. At least they have the resources to fend off attackers to an extent.

Being diligent and conscientious about your cybersecurity measures will go a long way to prevent any mishaps. The tips you read here are all simple and can be implemented with little effort. It’s better than having to clean up after a massive data leak.


Author Bio: Oleh Koropenko is an avid learner. His curiosity is a never-ending source of inspiration that drives him to research, revise and apply new things. He is an experienced blogger at DigitalMarketingGeek.com with expertise in email marketing and digital commerce, but also a passionate traveler with a great sense of humor, who cannot leave a stone unturned in the pursuit for greater knowledge and understanding. Reach him at @DMGeekcom.

Nancy Gaines

Nancy Gaines is CEO/Founder of Gain Advantages Inc. and has been advising small businesses and Fortune 100 companies how to increase revenues through proven systems for almost two decades. She is a best-selling author and international keynote speaker. Nancy has been named in the Top 100 Productivity Experts to follow on Twitter and has a global podcast downloaded in over 95 countries. Her main focus is creating business processes with actionable steps so her clients achieve more consistency, ease, and ultimate success.

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