Are you worried about malware attacks and theft of your customers’ information?
You have every reason to be worried. Recent studies show that two out of three small businesses have experienced hacking and information breaches.
The average small business cyber security breach costs an average of $1 million in repair bills and $1 million in lost time.
Each year, cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses more than $3 billion. That number is predicted to increase to $6 trillion in the next few years.
If you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering what you can do to save your company from cyber attacks.
We’ll take you through five of the best cyber security hacks for your business and let you know what you can do to reduce the risk of a breach.
1. Employee Training
Although your business may only have a few employees, it’s vitally important to train them thoroughly on cybersecurity best practices.
More than half of all small business cyber security threats come from within.
About 33% of all breaches are performed intentionally by disgruntled former employees and about 25% are accidental breaches by current ones.
How can you fight this threat? If you have a distributed workforce where employees work from home, make sure that you have remote access to wipe their laptop if you need to.
Continual training is key here: employees should develop complex passwords that contain at least one number and one symbol, and they should change them at least once per month.
You should also make sure that your employees don’t share their login information with their co-workers, even between departments.
2. Check Your Wifi Connection
Do your employees know your password to the office internet connection? Is it encrypted, or do you have it open for guests?
You should always limit access to your wifi password and change it regularly.
Another way to fight cyber attacks and enhance your small business security is to require a two-stage login for all devices. It’s important to keep an eye on who is using — or misusing — your internet services.
If you don’t have an in-house IT person, you can outsource the work to a company that specializes in IT professionals like https://www.scarlettculture.com/managed-it-services-raleigh-nc.
The goal is to closely manage all updates, secure all incoming and outgoing lines, and maintain a strong perimeter for all customer information.
You may think that you’ve got it all under control, but an IT professional should be able to ramp up your protection.
3. Use a Fax Machine
It may sound like a joke, but cybersecurity best practices lists always include using a fax machine.
Faxing sensitive information is the perfect way to foil hackers. First of all, they would need to manually access your phone line and even if they did, all they would hear is noise.
If your business deals with a lot of personal information like medical records, credit card numbers, or home addresses, you may want to look into large-scale faxing options.
Overall, you should perform a “security audit” of your business at least once per fiscal quarter.
Can you communicate via fax more often? How can you keep client information more secure?
If you don’t have a dedicated employee for your online and in-house security — or an offsite IT professional — look into creating a new position.
4. Transfer Files to the Cloud
In the event of an in-person security breach from a former employee, it’s extremely important to have a backup copy of all files stored offsite.
Cloud computing is a relatively new form of document and information storage. It allows small businesses to use the same security and storage software as larger companies.
You can work with your IT professional to make sure all software is regularly updated and all information is backed up to the cloud.
Some data breaches are unintentional and involve current employees clicking on malware. Hackers are extremely proficient at creating emails that look legitimate, and your entire computing system could be at risk.
To adhere to cybersecurity best practices, make sure that you can easily reset or wipe all devices in your office if you need to.
Choosing the right phone system, the right file backups, and educating employees are all key.
5. Invest in Cyber Security
How much are you spending each year on cybersecurity? It might not be enough.
Each employee at a small business receives at least 10 malware-infected emails each month. Multiply the number of your employees by 10 and you have a simple formula for how many times your system is at risk.
Once you’ve encrypted files, updated software, hired an IT pro, and developed a system for managing your security, you are much better off than your competitors.
You can attract new customers who are concerned about cybersecurity, and you can more easily retain existing ones.
Studies show that in the last five years, small business spending on cybersecurity has decreased by more than 20%. Larger businesses have increased their spending by more than 5%.
What do larger businesses know? They know that if they don’t dedicate themselves to securing data, they won’t have any clients to protect.
How to Improve Small Business Cyber Security?
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to small business cyber security and we’ve given you a few tips and hacks to start planning.
If you’ve had a data breach, the best thing is to be upfront with your customers. Unfortunately, hacking is a common occurrence in our society.
Your customers will respond best if you tell them what happened and then let them know the steps you’re taking to fix your security.
Hacking has become so sophisticated that even businesses with major security measures stand a risk of getting hacked.
If you’re wondering where to start, the best first step is to update all of your passwords and start monitoring employee internet usage.
Take your time and find the right security solutions for your small business. Our articles have a ton of hacks for improving your cybersecurity.