Data breaches and cyberattacks, including business email attacks, malware and ransomware threats, and crypto scams, are on the rise. Small businesses are particularly susceptible because they are not always equipped with the proper tools and resources to combat these threats. However, you can still take some valuable steps to protect your business.
Here are five cybersecurity practices every small business should implement:
Train all employees in cybersecurity best practicesOne of the most critical security measures for small businesses is training all employees on best cybersecurity practices. This ensures that your employees understand the risks associated with accessing company data and systems, and provides them with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect themselves from cybercrime.
Provide your employees with clear cybersecurity policies that outline the risks, the defenses in place, and the steps they can take to protect themselves. You can also offer formal cybersecurity training programs to ensure they are up to date on the latest threats and solutions.
Implement role-based access control (RBAC)
One of the most effective ways to protect your data and systems from cyberattacks is implementing role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC allows you to assign specific permissions to different employees based on their role in the company, controlling who has access to what data.
For instance, you can grant certain employees access to the company’s email system and give others access to the company’s digital sales platform. This ensures that employees can only access the systems and data required to do their job.
This also prevents employees from accessing sensitive data that they don’t need, reducing their risk of becoming a victim of data theft.
Initiate automated remote backup and data recoveryProtecting data is one of the most crucial cybersecurity practices for small businesses. One of the best ways to protect your data from cyberattacks is by initiating automated remote backup and data recovery, which allows you to store an extra copy of your data offsite in a secure location.
An automated remote backup and data recovery solution not only safeguards your data from cyberattacks but also allows you to restore your data in the event of a data breach.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA)MFA requires users to provide additional information to prove their identity when accessing company data and systems beyond just their username and password. This additional information may include a code texted to your mobile device, a thumbprint, etc.
MFA makes it significantly more difficult for cybercriminals to access your data and systems, providing an added layer of security if a cybercriminal circumvents your password. While MFA used to stop at two-factor authentication, it now typically involves several steps to ensure the person trying to gain access is who they claim to be.
Secure your Wi-Fi networksFinally, one of the most crucial cybersecurity practices for small businesses is properly securing your Wi-Fi networks to ensure your employees are connecting to a secure network when they access the internet through your company servers.
You can secure your Wi-Fi networks by using a VPN to encrypt internet traffic that passes through, using a firewall to block cybercriminals, and using a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS) to detect and block cyberattacks
No matter how large or small your business is, cybersecurity needs to be a priority.
For more cybersecurity resources to help businesses and consumers, visit BBB.org.
Marybeth Stevens is CEO of the Better Business Bureau of El Paso. You can reach her at [email protected]