Cybersecurity is crucial for all businesses, regardless of their size. As a small to a medium-sized business owner, you can’t assume hackers have nothing to steal from you. In fact, hackers could be targeting you just because your business is easily penetrable!
But don’t let this worry you. We’ve put together some cybersecurity best practices to help you out! Read on, and see which practices are best to implement in your business.
Perform Risk Assessments
Assessing risks is crucial for you to understand various threats and manage them well, keeping your business safe from security attacks. Carrying out risk assessments also keeps assets safe by helping you to establish processes and practices for your business to remain in compliance.
Note that risk assessment is not about simply crossing things off your checklist; you have to consider how security risks affect your bottom line, too. Characterize the system according to processes, functions, and applications, and determine the impact of possible risks. Also factor in fines, remediation costs, and inefficient or missing processes.
Have a Written Cybersecurity Policy in Place
Small to medium-sized businesses often operate by word of mouth, thus making changes to policies, rules, and regulations on the go when the need arises. However, when it comes to cybersecurity, businesses can’t do without having a well-documented policy in place.
Cybersecurity policies help you improve security measures, define who gets access to what, and outline consequences for breaches. Detailed and well-thought-out policies not only protect your business from mishaps but also prevent insiders with malicious intent from carrying out their plans. With a written policy, you also give a clear roadmap to your employees, enabling them to take the right actions.
Create an Incident Response Plan
A ready-to-go incident response plan which details immediate remedial steps to take in the event of a security breach can help mitigate the attack and reduce recovery time and costs. Additionally, incident response plans lay down employee roles and responsibilities and have clearly defined investigation, communication, and notification procedures for employees to adhere to.
Brainstorm with your IT and legal department heads to identify critical data, the potential risks it faces, and ways to recover it in the event of a breach. Be sure to include contact information for resources like IT and crisis management specialists. Remember that it’s essential to schedule drills and practice implementing the plan so any loopholes can be fixed.
It’s not a matter of if you’ll be targeted, but when. Change your perception accordingly, and you’ll be able to see just how vital it is for you to adopt proactive measures to keep your systems and data safe.
Apart from not fully understanding the worth of proactive cybersecurity measures, one reason small to medium-sized businesses pass them up is because they think they’re too expensive. While reactive measures might not cost as much as proactive ones, the latter has a host of long-term benefits for your business.
Make sure your networks are safeguarded with firewall and encryption software and that your Wi-Fi network is secure and hidden. Further, equip your systems with antivirus and antispyware, and apply patches and updates regularly to correct issues and improve functionality. Don’t forget to take mobile devices into account and have a data backup!
Enforcing multi-factor authentication and safe password practices aren’t all you need to do to keep your systems secure! As any business internet providers in Ohio will tell you, your employees are your first line of defense, so they need to be fully aware of the implications of security breaches. Hold employees accountable so they are always mindful of their actions, but ensure that they are up to date with policies and guidelines.
Create security awareness by starting with the basics. Hold regular meetings and training sessions to keep employees updated. Always keep the training short, to the point, and specific to your business. Refrain from doling out all the information in one session; hold them through the year so recruits can benefit, too. Sending weekly reminders or tips via e-mail or notifications also helps! Most importantly, ensure that senior management employees also attend training sessions.
Now that you’ve read these cybersecurity best practices, don’t wait for disaster to strike. Employ these tips and keep your business systems and data safe from attackers!
Jeff Dennis is the founder of Bitboyz, which serves quality managed IT services from Cleveland Ohio. One of his resolutions is to take the initiative to contribute his experience and knowledge to people belonging to the IT industry. In his free time, he loves to play guitar and spend quality time with his wife and three sons.