While 43 percent of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, only 14 percent of businesses have a strategy in place to protect their data. So, how do you keep your business secure and avoid becoming another statistic?
It’s simple. You need a cybersecurity guide.
Your cybersecurity guide
Every SMB has specific compliance requirements and data management needs, but here’s our cybersecurity guide to help you get started.
Set clear goals
Ascertain what you need from your cybersecurity policy and what your company’s specific, overarching goals are. Setting goals from the outset helps to keep your strategy focused. If you need help, you can always ask an IT specialist for advice.
Assess where your IT vulnerabilities lie. Identify your critical processes — in other words, the ones that must stay online to keep your business running — and prioritize your IT budget accordingly.
When setting these priorities, consider the impact of a cyber attack in each department across the rest of your business. Where would a cyber attack cause the most damage? Where would a system error cause the longest downtime?
Again, if you’re unsure how to prioritize your cybersecurity needs, a specialist can help.
Establish a BYOD policy
If you let employees use their own devices to access the network or company files, establish a clear cybersecurity policy for data management. Ensure that your staff understand their responsibilities to protect customer information and business data.
Protect critical infrastructure
You must protect the computers and devices across your network. Ensure that every device is adequately protected with up-to-date antivirus software and roll out network monitoring to protect your hardware 24/7. Consider how you’ll scale your cybersecurity as you install more hardware.
Shield the network
Install firewalls to protect your network. Set up public and private WiFi to make it harder for hackers to access company data. Even if hackers infiltrate the public WiFi, they can’t access the private network.
Encrypt important data
Encryption adds a cost-effective but highly valuable layer of protection around your sensitive files. Always encrypt files before sending them across the network.
Use strong passwords, never share them with anyone, and change them every few months. Encourage staff to keep their passwords safe and alert IT if there’s a suspected data breach.
Restrict access to sensitive files by setting clear permissions. Ensure that only authorized staff can install software or manage your systems by setting up strict administrator accounts.
Establish backup procedures
Reliable and secure backup processes are crucial to every cybersecurity guide. Use the cloud to encrypt and back up data safely. And, always back up critical data at regular intervals. Ensure that your backup processes are in line with your compliance requirements.
Integrate cybersecurity with business continuity
No cybersecurity guide would be complete without highlighting the link between cybersecurity and business continuity.
Studies show that 90 percent of cyberattacks are caused by human error. Ensure that your staff know how to spot the latest security scams and how to keep data safe by rolling out cybersecurity training.
Test your system
There’s little value in your cybersecurity plan if you’re not sure that it works. Test your cybersecurity and data management strategy at the earliest opportunity and address any problems right away.
Improve your cybersecurity today
An effective cybersecurity and data management strategy can reduce your downtime and help you grow your business without interruption. For more information on data management and cybersecurity strategies, contact us.