10 Tips To Improve Your Small Business Cybersecurity

May 19, 2022

Cyberattacks are becoming more common as businesses move online and switch to a virtual workspace. In 2021, some small businesses reported a 50% rise in weekly cyberattack attempts. To help you stay protected, we've gathered ten tips to improve your small business cybersecurity.

Why Keeping Your Online Business Secure Matters

Online security is a vital part of a successful business. When you properly invest in keeping your business secure, you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Limit your risks as an organization
  • Improve productivity 
  • Keep your intellectual property protected
  • Secure your customer information and data

Get Started With Your Small Business Cybersecurity

Some small business owners choose to ignore cybersecurity measures because they incorrectly assume that they’re too complicated for them to tackle. The truth is, you don't need to be an IT expert to get started. You can protect your business from future theft and other threats by taking the following steps.

1. Create a Policy

It’s paramount to create and review your cybersecurity policy no matter what stage of your business you are in. Crafting the right strategy will help hold yourself and your employees accountable as your organization works together to protect the intellectual property, customer data, and money that cybercriminals are desperate to take. If you don't know where to start, define your objectives and create a policy to help achieve them. Items in your policy shouldn’t be too arduous on employees, or you may find that people are ignoring the rules or finding workarounds to avoid them. 

2. Train Your Employees 

Training is an essential step to achieving greater cybersecurity across your business. Ensure employees understand their responsibility and train them on all possible security measures. Dedicated and empowered employees will often be your first line of defense against potential cyber security attacks.

3. Use an NDA

While it may seem like overkill for a small business, an NDA is another innovative tool to keep your IP protected and solidify the security policies and procedures you have put in place. If you ask your employees to sign an NDA, you can set clear expectations for privacy and security.

4. Conduct a Risk Review

It’s probably time to conduct a proper risk review if you’re unsure where your organization stands on cybersecurity. Many cybersecurity consultants can provide an independent risk review that will help give you a specific snapshot of your main risks. They’ll also provide specific steps to correct these risks from the inside out. These steps can be as simple as additional employee training or new software.

5. Invest in a VPN

One of the most frequent recommendations following a risk review is to adopt a VPN or virtual protocol network. These networks allow employees to conduct business remotely using a secure network. With a VPN, your organization can securely access and share important files from anywhere. 

6. Secure All Devices

Remember, even when using a strong VPN on other cybersecurity tools, your network is only as strong as its weakest device. It’s crucial to double-check all devices logging into your network, software, and other virtual tools. For example, you might choose to ban the use of personal devices, including smartphones and laptops, or require that employees complete company work only on secure, work-issued devices.

7. Change Your Passwords

An out-of-date password can easily be your downfall. You must have a solid password policy and requirements in place, including:

  • Changing all employee passwords frequently
  • Requiring two-factor authentication 
  • Adding a secure password manager

8. Check Software and Applications

Viruses, malware, and other threats can find their way into your system through vulnerabilities in your organization’s software or applications. The best way to protect yourself from these hazards is to ensure your software is up-to-date and change passwords frequently. 

9. Hire IT Professionals 

It’s important to recognize when it's time to ask for help. IT and web security are no different than other aspects of your business. If you ever feel unsure about what you need to do or how to implement some of the tips we've outlined above, there are countless IT professionals you can call upon to help. Hiring an in-house team can be incredibly beneficial when the time is right.

10. Use a Virtual Mailbox

While you might think that cybersecurity is purely an online concern, cybercriminals also target PO boxes to capture private information, launch their attacks, infiltrate systems, and commit fraud. Virtual mailboxes add another line of defense to keep your information out of the wrong hands. Like a PO box, they allow you to keep receiving mail at a secure address separate from your home or office. The difference is that a virtual mailbox securely scans, organizes, and monitors your paper mail 24/7.

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