5 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small to Medium Businesses

Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that because their business is small, they are less likely to fall victim to a cyberattack compared to larger companies. This ‘not much to steal’ mindset is all too common among small to medium business owners, but it’s completely incorrect. In reality, around 71% of cyberattacks happen to small businesses with less than 100 employees meaning that, actually, your small business might be at a bigger risk of a cyberattack than the big guys. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and the data that you hold on your business, customers, and employees.

Outsource IT:

Perhaps one of the easiest and most efficient ways to deal with cybersecurity in a small business is to outsource your IT to an experienced company that specializes in cybersecurity, like Capstone IT Services. They have experienced employees who will be able to make sure that all your IT security measures are up to date, plus they can provide expert IT support as and when you need it. And, it’s usually much cheaper compared to hiring your own in-house security experts.

Use a Firewall:

A firewall is often one of the first lines of defense against a cyber-attack, and it’s recommended that you use one to provide a barrier between your data and any cybercriminals looking to get their hands on it. Along with the standard external firewall, many companies are also using internal firewalls to provide an extra layer of protection. If you have employees working from home, it’s essential that they install a firewall on their home network too.

Have Clear Cybersecurity Policies:

Your risk of a cyberattack will drop when your employees are suitably trained and educated on how to prevent cyberattacks, protect data, and report a suspected breach. It’s important to document your protocols and provide employees with a clear set of guidelines to adhere to. Employees of small to medium businesses often take on a range of roles, so make it a priority to train all employees who access the network on your company’s best practices and security policies.

Plan for Mobile Devices:

With almost 60% of businesses now allowing BYOD, it’s essential to have a documented policy that focuses on security precautions when employees bring their own device to work, particularly mobile devices like smartphones and smartwatches. You should require employees to set up automatic security updates for any device that they use for work and apply the password policy to any device accessing the network.

Enforce Safe Password Policies:

Changing passwords can be inconvenient but it can also be the difference between avoiding a cyberattack and being a victim to one. Over 60% of data breaches are a result of lost, stolen, or easily-guessed passwords, so it’s important to have strict password policies in place and make sure that they are adhered to. Employees should be required to use strong passwords that contain upper- and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers, and update them every 60-90 days.

Small businesses are at the biggest risk of cybercrime, so it’s never been more essential to put a range of cybersecurity best practices into place in your company.

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