10 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

March 14, 2024

In the digital world today; small businesses are the mainstay of the global economy; however, they can be attacked by cybercriminals, which can cause data breaches, malware infections, or phishing scams that result in financial losses, reputational damage, and legal hassles for these companies. SummitCover has experienced what a small entity goes through during a cyber attack and consequently has formulated our Cyber Liability Insurance specifically for small businesses to help curb the effects of cyber crimes although prevention remains the best option.

This blog post delivers 10 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses that greatly decrease the chances of cyberattacks and preserve the success of your business. Through these measures, the organization will guard valuable data, and guarantee customer privacy and smooth running of business operations.

1. Employee Awareness Training, as a Security Measure

Employees, as the company's greatest asset, are similarly susceptible to dangerous cyber threats, hence the importance of cyber security awareness programs to ensure proper identification and prevention.

Training should cover topics including: 

  • Phishing Attacks and Methods to Identify Them
  • Password Security Best Practices 
  • Safe browsing practices 
  • Recognizing and Reporting questionable actions

SummitCover advises that the course should incorporate interactive elements such as simulations and quizzes for more involvement and efficiency!

2. Construct a Secure Fortress: Install Antivirus and Malware Programs

The business computer network will be unguarded if there are no antivirus and anti-malware programs in the system because these programs detect malicious programs that can steal sensitive data interrupt functioning and even cause damage to the hardware.

Here are a few key considerations when purchasing security software: 

  • Reputation: Given that you are in search of a security software provider, you ought to consider established companies whose software has proven itself over time 
  • Features: It has the features of real-time protection, automatic updates, and complete scanning.
  • Compatibility: While shopping for software, ensure that it runs smoothly on all your devices and configuration models.

3. Prioritise Updates - Prioritize Software Updates

Software vulnerabilities are like cracks in a wall: These constitute a possible vulnerability that cybercriminals can get an opportunity to exploit. Developers of software constantly come up with updates to deal with security vulnerabilities and close security holes; however, some users are less enthusiastic about installing these updates and leave their systems exposed to malicious actors for a long time.

Make software updates a priority to:

  • Reducing the number of loopholes that a hacker can pass through. 
  • Access new user interface elements and improve functionality.
  • Make use of significantly improved performance and stability. 

4. Strengthen Your Network: Protect Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks found at cafes, airports, or coworking spaces may seem convenient but their security can be an ongoing headache. Unprotected connections leave your data open to interception; here are a few steps that may help safeguard it:

  • Utilize a Virtual Private Network: A VPN secures all of your web traffic so it remains unreadable by third-party spies snooping around on the network.
  • Enable encryption: Enable encryption on Wi-Fi routers by selecting stronger protocols like WPA2 to prevent unauthorized access to networks and prevent possible breaches in security.
  • Establish a separate guest network: Provide guests with their own Wi-Fi network while still protecting your business network from being compromised by guests accessing it from home or elsewhere. 

5. Build an Enforceable Backup Bastion: Regularly Back Up Your Data

Regular backup of data ensures you can restore critical information even in the event of a cyber attack or hardware failure, protecting critical files against disaster recovery needs and incidents. Implementation of an effective backup strategy involves:

  • Select a Backup Solution/Formula:  Cloud storage, external hard drives or both may be appropriate as backup solutions
  • Establish a Backup Plan: When scheduling data backups based on their criticality.
  • Testing Backups to Ensure Their Functioning Correctly: You should regularly conduct tests on your backups to make sure they're operating correctly.

SummitCover recommends keeping backups offline or in an encrypted cloud location to protect them against ransomware attacks.

6. Embark Upon Complexity by Implementing Secure Password Policies

Weak passwords provide cybercriminals with easy entry. Implement a strong password policy within your organization to dramatically strengthen cybersecurity efforts, including:

  • Minimum Password Length (Password Length Minimums or PLLs), while at the same time mandating uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to ensure password complexity is maintained. 
  • Recommend Unique Passwords (Unique Passwords), to discourage employees from sharing passwords across accounts.
  • Regular Password Changes: For optimal security purposes, require employees to change their passwords at regular intervals (ideally every three months).

7. Grant Access Carefully

The concept stated here is the principle of the minimum privilege that requires granting access to actions that will be necessary for the job ONLY. This way a compromised account will minimize the possible impact. Here's how it should work in practice: 

  • Regularly review user permissions: Allow employees access only to data and systems they require, without oversharing privileges with colleagues or using administrator accounts for day-to-day tasks.
  • Use multiple user accounts instead: Instead, set up regular ones with limited privileges that your staff will only use for specific tasks.
  • Shut off old accounts: Close accounts belonging to former employees who no longer require access or those in need.

8. Train Employees to Good Browsing Practices

Publicly free Wi-Fi networks are a convenient, but thorough protection of their security, if people fail to undergo some rightful browsing procedures, can become a risk of incident cyber attacks.

  • Avoid Accessing Sensitive Data on Public Wifi: For optimal safety, discourage employees from accessing sensitive company or financial data through public Wi-Fi networks. 
  • Be wary of phishing scams: Train employees to recognize suspicious emails and websites as potential phishing attempts can include links that steal login credentials or infiltrate devices with malware.
  • Use HTTPS Websites: To help protect their data during transmission, encourage employees to only visit websites secured with HTTPS encryption. This ensures their transmission can take place securely.

9. Protect Devices by Implementing Mobile Device Management

MDM software is important for securing mobile devices used in the workplace.

  • Establish password policies and remote wipe capabilities on company-issued devices
  • Monitor lost or stolen ones to minimize data breaches 
  • Implement containerization features to keep personal and work information separate on employee devices.

10. Work With Experts: Consider Cyber Liability Insurance

Implementing these cybersecurity tips will significantly lower the risks, yet cyber attacks still occur. Cyber Liability Insurance for small businesses offers financial protection in case of such attacks by covering things such as:

  • Data breach costs: These expenses cover notifying customers and legal costs related to data breaches as well as credit monitoring expenses. 
  • Business interruption costs: Losses related to downtime caused by cyber-attacks can have severe negative repercussions for revenue losses as a result. 
  • Cyber extortion expenses: These cover responding to ransomware demands by responding with ransom payments that often threaten future revenue losses for your organization.

Final Thoughts

By adopting an active approach to cybersecurity and employing these 10 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses, you can substantially lower the risk of cyberattack. Don't undervalue having Cyber Liability Insurance Summit from SummitCover in place so your business remains financially protected even in case of cyber incidents!

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