Cybersecurity affects all businesses, regardless of the size. Small and medium sized businesses are particularly at risk because they tend to be quite lax regarding in-house digital security. You may think what hackers can possibly steal from your tiny start-up? Well, even if there’s nothing to steal, hackers can hijack your business’s website or social media sites and use them for nefarious purposes without your knowledge. Hackers can also compromise your system and steal customer credit card information, which could very well tank your business. So, here are several cybersecurity tips that are simple to understand and implement, but are all the more important:
Have a Strong Password Policy
Compromised passwords are the most common way hackers gain access to a system. There are a number of ways passwords can be compromised. Most commonly, however, it’s due to sheer negligence. Employees might reuse old passwords or use a silly, easy to guess phrase like “dadada”. Your business must absolutely have a very strong password policy that eliminates any risk of a hacker gaining access due to negligence.
You can teach employees how to come up with strong passwords (mix numbers, upper and lower case letters, and use non-dictionary words). If your business is medium sized, or has to manage thousands of passwords, it might be smarter to simply purchase a web based password manager software. A tool such as this can generate random passwords that are impossible to guess.
Install Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is quite adept at spotting malicious programs that can give a thirdparty access to your sensitive information. So, invest in trusted and up-to-date antivirus software to protect your system. Considering that you are running a business, do not depend on free, web-based antivirus programs. Buy security software intended for businesses.
Update All Software
You must constantly update all software that your company is using. It’s easy to do if you have auto update enabled for software like Windows and Microsoft Office Suite. Developers routinely issue security updates to patch vulnerabilities in program source code. Having outdated software will only increase your risk for a cybersecurity violation. If you have purchased custom-made business software, you must have a deal with the developer to routinely issue security updates.
Advise Your Employees on Common Cybersecurity Threats
Teach your employees how to stay safe online and not to fall for common phishing scams. Tell them to be aware of clicking on links in emails. If a link looks suspicious, even if the sender is known, do not click without knowing where it goes. Hackers hijack accounts and send links to malicious software to contacts in that account. Making your employees aware of such trickery will make your system all the safer.
Disallow Web Downloads
Downloading third-party programs from the web is a sure-fire way to end up with malicious software. So, disable all downloads on employee computers. Rely on an internal cloud-based system to access each others’ files without the need for downloading.
Don’t Let Employees Use Personal USB Sticks or CDs
Don’t let anyone bring in flash drives, CDs, or other external storage devices from the outside and stick them into office computers. This is a classic way that hackers gain access to secure internal systems. Simply ban all such storage devices.
If you follow all of the above security tips, your company’s system will be much safer than ever before.