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Managed Services (MSP) Cybersecurity

9 Essential Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

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43 percent of all data breaches were with small and medium-sized businesses. Running a small business comes with plenty of challenges, and you do not want to add cybersecurity issues to the list.

Cybersecurity breaches can happen to any business, small or big. But often, small businesses are under-protected, so they are more vulnerable. If you want to avoid data theft, loss, fraud, business downtime, along with other problems, it is time to assess your cybersecurity. 

So, what can you do to improve your small business cybersecurity? Read on to learn nine cybersecurity tips to protect your business. 

1. Run a Security Check

A good place to start with cybersecurity for small businesses is to run a security assessment to highlight areas that need attention. It also helps you identify sensitive files and data you need to protect.

Check who has access to sensitive information. Also, review what existing practices you have in place against cybersecurity threats. 

You can run regular checks for malware, viruses, and other checks if you have existing security software. Sometimes malware breaches systems undetected. 

While you can do a basic assessment in-house, it can be helpful to have support from experienced IT companies who can analyze your system as a whole.  Network Connections offers free network assessment.  You can sign up by clicking here.

2. Back Up Your Data

Backing up business data daily protects you against the risk of ransomware cybersecurity attacks. If you happen to be targeted, you will have peace of mind that you have a copy of the data. Often ransomware attacks steal and withhold data until you pay for the release, and there is no guarantee you will get it back. 

It is best to have a backup system, which IT support can install with IT support. If you have one backup file, it could also be targeted by ransomware. You want a protected system that cannot be attacked.

3. Enhance Password Protection 

One of the most important cybersecurity tips for businesses of all sizes is to use strong passwords. Strong password protection is a must for cybersecurity. Never underestimate how easily someone can guess your password. 

Make sure you only store passwords in secure places. Set prompts to update passwords regularly and introduce a password policy. You can also install systems that make it easier to manage passwords without sharing them all. For example, some systems generate one-time passwords. 

Also, when possible, use multi-factor authentication. When you enter your username and password, you also have to authenticate in another way. You may need to authenticate with a different device or biometrics, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. 

network assessment

5. Educate Your Employees 

It is useless following cybersecurity tips if your employees do not know the importance of cybersecurity. They can easily open a scam link or fall for a scam without cybersecurity education. 

Run training programs so employees can identify security threats too. IT companies can do this for you, or you can do your own training. It is vital to cover the essentials of common scams and other cybersecurity threats. 

Cybersecurity threats become more sophisticated by the day, so stay up to date and hold regular training for employees.  Secure Awareness Training products such as KnowBe4 help educate your employees to recognize threats such as phishing email links and reduces the risk of being compromised.

6. Update Software Regularly

It is natural to click ‘remind me later’ when you see a software update but have work to do. However, out-of-date software is a threat to small business cybersecurity. Turn on automatic updates or assign time for software updates. 

Out-of-date software is not maintained, so there are more flaws, and cybercriminals can easily attain access. They can use it as a back door to access your other systems. 

7. Use Encryption

You can encrypt sensitive data for more robust small business cybersecurity. Encryption essentially means information is converted into code to protect the actual data. 

Encryption means you can access the data, but the data will be unreadable if there is unauthorized access. It is still important to back up data with this method and ensure that it is also encrypted!

8. Setup Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) from protects your applications by using a second source of validation, like a phone or token, to verify user identity before granting access. MFA solutions such as Cisco's Duo is engineered to provide a simple, streamlined login experience for every user and application, and as a cloud-based solution, it integrates easily with your existing technology..

9. Implement a Cybersecurity Policy

Consider implementing a cybersecurity policy so all employees follow best practices. It should also include what to do if there is a cybersecurity breach.

The policy can cover social media use, authentication requirements, and device sharing. It can also include a system of who has access to what information within the company. 

For example, the policy may include only accessing email and other files on secure networks. If you provide work laptops and phones, they may only access the network at work. 

You can also include steps to protect against physical threats to cybersecurity. For example, you want to prevent hardware from being stolen and Wi-Fi network breaches. 

Follow These Cybersecurity Tips 

Follow these cybersecurity tips to protect your business, employees, customers, and data. Cybersecurity threats continue to grow, so there is no time like the present to take action. 

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to small business cybersecurity. Taking time to invest in cybersecurity for small businesses will save you money, time, and stress in the long run. And if you need assistance to implement recommendations in this article, please contact us today!

Who is NCI and how we can help!

If you are looking for a proven IT service provider, Network Connections has all the solutions you're looking for.  We offer your business managed IT services, mobile or remote workplace, Microsoft cloud services, managed cybersecurity, and hosted VoIP solutions.

Contact us today, and find out how we can help your business. 

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