In today’s digital era, any business needs to prioritise cybersecurity. Cybercrimes are getting more sophisticated, with hackers targeting not just international companies but also small local businesses. In fact, small businesses are easy prey for hackers due to the low-security levels used on their office networks and devices. Fortunately, building a cyber fortress for your business isn’t as complicated as you might think. Follow these five tips to protect your small business against cybersecurity threats.
1. Set up a firewall
Using a firewall serves as your first line of defence. A firewall is one of the most integral components of your cyber fortress and holds the key to improving the security of your small business network.
For 1300 telecommunications mogul Neil Royle, a firewall is critical to protecting your business. “No matter your industry, setting up a firewall should be the first priority when you organise a website. As time goes on, you’ll be able to improve the firewalls to further protect your business.”
There’s a good chance that your operating system already has a firewall, but it’s recommended to invest in more advanced firewalls for better security.
2. Install anti-malware software
It’s easy to forget about installing anti-malware software, but it’s a key factor in boosting cybersecurity. Make sure that every computer in your business is equipped with good quality anti-malware software, including the computers used by remote workers. It’s also a good idea to set it to update automatically to ensure that all computers are using the latest version.
3. Don’t forget about your mobile devices
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably do business in multiple locations throughout the day and rely heavily on your smartphone or laptop. It’s imperative to secure your mobile devices against cybersecurity threats, especially if you connect to public networks.
Daniel Halse, who runs a shade sail company, highlights the importance of safeguarding your mobile devices. “Being out on the road and doing jobs means that I’m often on my phone to check things. If that goes, then I’m stuffed. I need to know that my phone will be protected at all hours.”
Also, remember that hackers may trick you into installing malware on your mobile devices, so always double-check what you’re downloading. To avoid such a risk, make it a habit to avoid opening emails, notifications, links, and attachments from shady or suspicious sources.
4. Perform regular updates and backups
Updates and backups are easy to do, but they’re easy to forget as well. Ensure that your operating system is up to date, as well as your anti-virus software. You must also back up your data weekly so you can keep your business running in the event of data loss.
5. Document your policies
After formulating a concrete protection plan for your small business, including all the devices and networks you use, remember to put it all down in writing.
Healthy Smoothie maker Iliana Koleva says that having it as some form of document is critical. “Once it’s written down, it means that there’s no unclear ideas about the subject. Obviously there can be additions made, but it’s important that everyone is on the same page so that no-one is confused about your IT policies at any moment.”
All of your employees must receive this documentation to familiarise themselves with what to do in case of a breach. Hold a meeting if necessary to make sure that all of your employees understand the process and clarify any questions or concerns they may have. Lastly, go over your policy every few months and make changes as you see fit.