As the owner of an SMB, you’re probably up to speed on your critical numbers: revenues, expenses, profits, etc. But how savvy are you to cybersecurity numbers? Small organizations that ignore these numbers leave themselves open to hacking and worse. Avoid those consequences by staying up to defense speed with these small business cybersecurity tips.
Small Business Cybersecurity Threats
Despite their size, small businesses remain a top target for cyberthieves primarily because they are often under- or unprepared to detect, withstand, or defend against a digital intrusion.
- Small businesses are the victims of 58 percent of all cyber attacks.
- Small businesses account for 48 percent of all malicious data security breaches.
The costs of a cyber attack are also significant.
- On average, a ‘typical’ small business cyber attack causes over $875,000 in damages and another $955,000+ in disruption costs.
Not surprisingly, up to 60 percent of all small businesses that experience a cybersecurity attack are out of business within six months.
Critical Small Business Cybersecurity Tips
To avoid the trauma of a cyber intrusion, follow these four small business cybersecurity tips to ensure that your enterprise remains impervious to invaders:
1. Upgrade security technologies on your hardware
Unprotected machines are open portals to criminals. Keep your hardware protected by installing the most current versions of firewalls, virus detectors, and other security programming. The best strategy is to do a hardware audit that captures every device through which access to your corporate files can occur, including your employee’s personal devices and home computers. Ensure that the entire constellation of machinery is safe behind a corporate security shield.
2. Upgrade access practices
The simple password is no longer sufficient to protect access to your corporate files and programs. According to Deloitte, reusing a single password on multiple accounts causes more than 75 percent of all corporate hijacks as thieves will use those passwords they know to find and unlock related accounts.
Instead, this small business cybersecurity tip is to implement a multi-factor authentication protocol that incorporates more than one authentication action to gain access to any organizational documents. While passwords remain a popular aspect of multi-factor authentication, they are joined by geolocation, imagery, or even voice recognition elements as well. Some experts advocate adding additional authentication steps depending on the sensitivity of the transaction involved.
Cyber thieves who discovery a series of barriers to entry are more likely to abandon that effort in favor of a less protected neighboring company.
3. Train your workers
The best security practices are useless unless your workers are well trained and dedicated to using them. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to create a detailed set of cybersecurity policies that cover all aspects of corporate protections, including access, onboarding, use, sharing, mobile devices, and even off-boarding when employees leave. Your day-to-day security best practices will flow from these policies, and they will remain your organization’s go-to resource to ensure everyone is always up-to-date.
Schedule annual reviews and updates, too.
4. Schedule regular backups
In addition to scheduling annual data security policy reviews, you should schedule regular backups of all your corporate data, too, preferably onto an off-site server that isn’t connected to your main technology suite. If your company does experience an attack, you can use your backup system to keep your daily functions moving forward even while you’re working to minimize damages and loss caused by the hack. Backups are also a critical element of the recovery process because they provide access to the data and systems that were in place before the attack occurred.
These small business cybersecurity tips prove that it is essential for every small business to stay on top of cybersecurity concerns.