Preventing cyberattacks: Key steps for small businesses

Many small business owners still believe that hackers are not interested in SMBs. Data and studies report that a considerable number of small businesses have suffered cyberattacks in recent past. There are three reasons why hackers target these SMBs- 

  1. These companies don’t spend as much on cybersecurity measures. 
  2. They still have valuable and sensitive data and resources. 
  3. They don’t pursue legal action like big corporate firms. 

For a hacker, it is much easy to attack a small business and get away with the consequences. For the company, this may often mean a domino effect, including financial losses and unexpected fall in brand value. From camera hack and phishing, to malware attacks, there are varied tricks that hackers use on businesses. In this post, we are sharing some of the basic steps that small businesses can consider for preventing cyberattacks. 

  1. Create a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. You have to ensure that your business has a proactive and a reactive list of dos and don’ts for cybersecurity. If you are unsure of how to approach cybersecurity or think beyond compliance, there are firms that can help with that. 
  2. Update software, firmware, and operating systems. All operating systems, third-party software and firmware must be updated to the latest versions. Ensure that your employees know of all the new security patches. 
  3. Focus on safe browsing. Make cybersecurity training mandatory for employees, so that they know about safe browsing, how to find malware files, and ways to prevent a phishing attack. 
  4. Use antimalware software. If you are using the right antimalware program, you can actually prevent these incidents related to malicious files and downloads. There are various advanced software products available, so do your homework. 
  5. Use firewalls and network segmentation. All networked devices must have firewalls installed, and use a firebreak, so that compromise on one subnetwork doesn’t impact others. There are different ways to approach device security, including access right management. 
  6. Password protection is a must. A strong password that’s long and has special characters is always hard to hack. Ensure that old and default passwords are changed immediately, and all your employees should use a password manager. 
  7. Use multifactor authentication. Finally, use multifactor authentication, which is a great way of adding security to strong passwords. You can add security questions, ask for onetime passwords and pins, to ensure that one doesn’t have direct access to a resource, account or device. 

With basic cybersecurity in place, your small business doesn’t have much to worry about.