Cybersecurity in Business Management: A Roadmap for Small Enterprises
By Guest Post, published: 2023-10-07
Introduction to Cybersecurity in Business Management
Small businesses are just as vulnerable as large companies when it comes to cyberattacks. In fact, some of the biggest data breaches in recent years started from attacks on small businesses, like the 2014 incident where personal data from over 100 million accounts was exposed through an HVAC contractor’s network. Shockingly, around 67 percent of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees have fallen victim to cyberattacks, with 58 percent experiencing breaches. These alarming statistics clearly emphasize the need for all businesses to prioritize cybersecurity. The business management process must take into account not only the primary needs of small enterprises but also issues of digital data protection.
Best Cyber Security Practices for Small Businesses
#1 Use Strong Passwords and 2FA
Many small businesses experience cyber attacks due to poor password practices, such as reusing passwords across multiple accounts. Strong passwords can be created by efficient password managers and passphrases.
A password manager functions as a virtual safe for storing and generating robust, individual passwords for each account. This relieves the burden of memorizing unique passwords, as the manager keeps a record of them. Additionally, employing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) boosts account security. It requires users to provide an additional piece of information, like a unique code from a text message or an authenticator app, in addition to the username and password.
#2 Train Employees
Your business can become vulnerable to cyber attacks due to employees. While the exact statistics vary based on the country and industry, it is clear that a significant portion of data breaches occur because insiders intentionally or negligently grant cybercriminals access to your networks.
Employee-initiated attacks can arise in various situations. For example, an employee could misplace a work tablet or reveal login credentials. Employees might also inadvertently open fraudulent emails, spreading viruses throughout their business network.
#3 Use VPN
VPNs enable employees to securely access your company’s network while working remotely or traveling. They achieve this by directing your data and IP address through a secure connection. VPN apps prove especially beneficial in public internet connections, which frequently fall prey to hackers. One of the technically advanced solutions of VeePN for Windows, and very inexpensive. In general, you can download a VPN on any device; this service supports all operating systems. You can check review article of best VPN services available at the market by PrivacyJournal.
#4 Update Your Software
Regularly updating your operating system and other software is crucial to fixing security flaws and making it more difficult for cybercriminals to break in. New vulnerabilities are constantly being discovered, so it is important not to ignore update prompts. However, if your device or software is outdated and no longer supported by updates from the manufacturer, it is advisable to consider upgrading to a newer, more secure product.
#5 Secure Your Wi-Fi network
Ensure your business switches from the WEP network to the more secure WPA2 or newer versions to maintain enhanced security. Most likely, you are already using WPA2, but it’s worth verifying as some businesses may overlook upgrading their infrastructure. Our guide provides more information on the differences between WEP and WPA.
To safeguard your Wi-Fi network from hackers, change the name of your wireless access point or router, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Adding an intricate Pre-shared Key (PSK) passphrase will further enhance security.
#6 Control Your Devices
Dispose of your devices securely to prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive information such as emails, files, and business data. Ensure to remove all information from your business devices before selling, trading, or discarding them. For instance, perform a factory reset to wipe all data and restore the devices to their original settings.
#7 Conduct a Risk Assessment
To ensure the security of your company’s networks, systems, and information, it is crucial to assess potential risks. Identify and analyze threats to devise a plan for addressing security gaps.
As part of the risk assessment, determine the storage and access of your data. Identify potential adversaries and their methods of acquiring the data. If your business data is stored in the cloud, seek assistance from your cloud storage provider in assessing the risks. Evaluate the severity of potential events and the impact of breaches on your company.
#8 Implement Access Levels
To enhance data security within your organization, keep the number of individuals with access to critical data to a minimum. This precaution will limit the impact of potential data breaches and reduce the risk of internal foul play. Create a comprehensive plan that clearly outlines which individuals have access to specific levels of information, ensuring role clarity and accountability for all involved parties.
Cybersecurity is a mandatory requirement for a business that focuses on long-term and stable operations. Data leaks and hacking of business networks lead to damage to reputation and material costs. Restoring a reputation is not easy, so preventative measures will always be the preferred option.
Amanda Raynold has been working as a freelance security and cybersecurity consultant for 8 years. I am actively fighting the lack of desire and knowledge in these areas.