The numerous data breaches and cyber attacks of these past few months have made many people concerned about their cybersecurity, and for a good reason.
Everything is digital these days. All of our sensitive personal files are stored on computers. We access our banks and our credit card accounts online. We even store medical documents on the cloud and our companies’ financial information on our computers.
Every piece of sensitive information can prove to be invaluable to cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s important for everyone to ensure they have top-notch cybersecurity.
SMBs Are a Huge Target for Cyberattacks
Many have a misconception that the only targets of cybercriminals are huge financial institutions, governments, and influential people. This simply isn’t true.
Over 58% of cyber attack victims are small businesses. The reasoning behind this is simple. SMBs believe they’re not a target. Therefore they typically don’t have very strong cybersecurity measures. Because of that, they become easy pickings for hackers.
Moreover, cyber attacks on small businesses aren’t covered by the media like those on bigger corporations. This just further solidifies the belief that small business owners have nothing to fear.
Data Breaches Are Costly in More Ways Than One
Data breaches typically cost companies about $3.86 million on average. This is just the cost of technical investigations and regulatory filings. If clients’ sensitive personal information is compromised, businesses will most likely have to pay for lawsuits and all the legal fees that accompany them.
Employees will have to spend hours upon hours getting back on track. As a result, they’ll have no time to do the work that they’re actually supposed to, significantly affecting a business’s revenue.
The most troubling fact is that 80% of consumers will defect from a business if their information is compromised in a breach. Businesses risk losing their most important clients and having their reputation irreversibly damaged.
Proper Cybersecurity Will Protect Your Business
Companies revolve around data, whether that’s client information, financial figures, marketing analysis, or anything in between. If any of this data is compromised, it can only spell disaster.
With proper cybersecurity measures in place, small business owners will ensure that all the important information is secured and that nothing can compromise the invaluable data.
IT technicians can do their job better, business processes will go more smoothly, and everyone can rest easy knowing they’re secured.
Ways to Improve Cybersecurity
There are many things that small business owners can do to ensure better cybersecurity without breaking the bank. It’s just important to note that there isn’t a single solution that will protect a business. Improving cybersecurity is a process. Overlooking a small vulnerability could cause great problems, so it’s essential to be protected on all fronts.
● Educate Your Employees
A single mistake made by one of the employees opens up a business to many cyber threats. It can be a number of small things. Opening a spam email, connecting to a public network to access company files, accidentally downloading a virus, etc.
For a business to be protected, all of its employees have to be on the same page. They also have to practice the best cybersecurity measures.
Educating the employees about all the possible threats and how they should behave online is the first step toward ensuring better security.
● Use Strong Passwords and 2FA
The easiest way to break into a business’s network is by guessing the passwords, which is actually quite easy to do. 83% of people use a single password for multiple sites and accounts. If just one of them is compromised, cybercriminals can gain access to a business’s network.
All employees should have unique, strong passwords for each of their accounts. They should be impossible to guess and completely random. Password managers can help with keeping track of all of them.
Using two-factor authentication (2FA) is an added precaution that greatly improves the overall cybersecurity.
● Rely on a VPN
Having a no log VPN is essential for all SMBs. What is a VPN? It serves to protect the connection between a device and a network (find information here). The connection is hidden and encrypted, which means that no one can intercept it and break into the device or the network.
For businesses with remote workers, a VPN might be even more important. Remote employees often connect to unsecured public networks to do their job, and can unknowingly expose their companies to threats.
● Have Strong Firewalls in Place
A firewall prevents outsiders from accessing the data on a network. Most operating systems come with their own firewalls. But it’s always a good idea to check and, if necessary, get firewall software and install it.
The Bottom Line
For small businesses to stay ahead of the competition and ensure their success, they must focus on cybersecurity. Following the best cybersecurity practices doesn’t always mean spending excessive amounts of money, all it takes is a little bit of effort.