When cybersecurity is pushed to the side by small business owners, few realize just how short-sighted this decision can be. According to the US Congressional Small Business Committee, businesses with less than 100 employees account for 71% of all cyber-attacks. Because hackers change their strategies every year, all enterprises must be aware of the constant threat of criminal interference.
Let’s take a look at the importance of data backup and protection for small businesses, and how to alter your strategy if you don’t feel fully protected.
1. Review Your Policies
Chances are, you don’t even think about cybersecurity for your small business until your computer prompts you to update your firewall settings or change your password. Whether you have a dedicated IT team, or you use a business IT service company in Portland, OR, it’s important to have clear policies regarding data protection and management. The Small Business Administration website is a great resource that can help you implement better security practices in your company.
2. Set Up a Double-Walled Defense
While a firewall can be a great deterrent for hackers, simply having one isn’t always enough. You’ll still need to take steps to ensure that yours is as strong and secure as possible.
One way to increase your security is to set up both an internal and external firewall. While these systems stem from the same concept, an internal firewall can be modified to protect the intra-office communication and data that passes back and forth on a regular basis. If you need assistance with your firewall installation and repair, consider enlisting the help of an IT consultant.
3. Account for Your Devices
When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s not just your own equipment and programs you have to worry about. You must also take into account any personal devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, etc.) you let your employees use. Personal devices can cause a number of security problems if employees connect to unsecured networks when traveling and they can contract computer viruses that could infiltrate company protections.
If you let your employees use their own devices, it’s important to have a running record of who is using what. You should also know what precautions employees are taking to ensure their devices won’t be hacked – and provide them with a clear guide to your business’ security standards.
4. Back It All Up
Data protection for small businesses is rarely ever a guarantee. That’s why even large corporations with unlimited revenue are still susceptible to cyber-attacks. To protect yourself in the event of data loss due to a hacker, natural disaster, or system malfunction, it’s important to have an alternate method for accessing your information.
The cloud has become the most popular way for businesses to store and recover their data. There are many third-party providers that offer specialized plans to small business owners. These providers can scale their services to work with any size company. While many of these plans cost money, having a place to back up all of your important information is an investment worth making.
5. Step Up Your Education
Your employees are trained to do their specific jobs, but odds are, few know the intricacies behind the network they’re using. If your staff doesn’t understand the need to make passwords more secure or how to identify the marks of a skilled phishing email, they’ll leave the company open to attack.
Data security training sessions are beneficial to any small business because they:
- Increase accountability and awareness among employees
- Educate staff members on everything from basic security standards to new hacker techniques
- Provide constant reinforcement of security practices within your company
- Inform employees of immediate dangers and the potential repercussions
6. Consider Proactive Precautions
There are many different ways to prevent data breaches before they even happen. One of the best methods is implementing multifactor identification throughout your network. Multifactor identification is designed to root out hackers before they even start down the path of destruction.
Instead of employees signing in to a device immediately, they’ll need to prove that they have access to two different devices. This can be anything from verifying a specific email account to inputting a text message code. An IT consultant can make it easier to set up an identification process that works for you and your employees.
When in Doubt, Look to the Experts
Some companies find that with everything on their to-do list, it just isn’t feasible to fully prevent data breaches on their own. That’s why NerdsToGo offers Network Operations Center (NOC) data monitoring services that can improve the security of small businesses. Our remote data monitoring, firewall installation and repair, and off-site cybersecurity monitoring services are exactly what you need to feel confident about your company’s data protection.
For more information about our managed IT services, or to schedule a consultation with one of our Nerds, contact us today!