Running a small business has never been easy, but the challenges today are greater than ever before. Cybersecurity in particular is a major concern for small business owners, and one that is not going away any time soon.
As long as there are computers and bad guys, there will be threats to cybersecurity. Small business owners cannot make the threat go away, but there are things they can do to reduce the impact and mitigate the damage. Here are five simple steps small business owners can use to secure their networks, protect their workers and safeguard their client data.
- Train your employees. Your employees are the front line in cybersecurity, and the training they receive can make a world of difference. Proper employee training is key, and those training sessions should not be a mere afterthought.
- Use the principal of least access. Operating your business on a need-to-know/least-access basis can enhance your cybersecurity and improve the safety of your network. Employees should be granted access based on the requirements of their positions, and the access granted should be the lowest level needed to do their jobs.
- Disable email links. This one could be problematic depending on the needs of your business, but disabling clickable links can be an effective defense against ransomware, viruses and other online threats. If disabling link access is not feasible, your training should stress the potential dangers of clicking links from unknown sources.
- Keep your software properly patched and up to date. From the operating systems running the company desktops and servers to the office productivity suite and online ordering system, everything that runs on the company network should be patched on a regular basis. Applying the latest patches is your best defense against known threats, so set an upgrade schedule and stick to it.
- Back up your data. The threat to hold your files hostage loses its punch when you know you have viable copies, so back up your network regularly and test those backups as often as possible. Not only is having a solid data backup policy the best defense against the current scourge of ransomware, but it is an effective countermeasure to other cyber threats as well.
- Control access to the company network. Whether employees are accessing your Wi-Fi network or the company's wired network, it is important to know which devices are coming and going. Controlling access to the company network is essential, so make sure employees know what is and is not permitted. If you plan to allow personal devices on the company network, you should also plan to secure those devices and make sure their software is up to date.
Small businesses have never been more under siege, but you do not have to be the next victim. With a few simple steps and some good, old-fashioned common sense, you can protect your network and your small business from the threat of ransomware, the danger of data breaches and other modern dangers.
Contact Us to find out more about our IT support services.