Recent statistics suggest that 43% of all data breaches target small businesses. What is worse is that statistics also say that 60% of small businesses who encounter a cyberattack will shut down forever within six months following that attack.
Small business online security is critical. So much so that it is the difference between building up operations and sales or going out of business.
How is your small business protecting business data? Are you taking enough protective measures for your business website security to fend off common cyber threats?
If you are feeling a little uncomfortable thinking about this subject, relax for a moment. In this article, we will discuss a few small business online security mistakes, but we will also explain how to avoid them, too.
So, keep reading, and have a pen and paper handy! Let’s get to it.
1. Using Weak Passwords
When a user creates an account with an easy-to-guess password, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Any cyber attacker can gain access to the account, no matter their skill level.
Cybercriminals can get access to bank accounts, business email accounts, and any other application they wish to break into. In a post-COVID-19 world, remote work is more widely accepted, and business applications are turning to the cloud for storage and access.
While it helps operations to be more efficient, it could create a playground for cyber-criminals if you do not use the right precautions.
Unfortunately, employees may be tired of having to create a unique password for every account and they want something that is easy to remember for everything they have. While it may seem convenient, it makes your business accounts vulnerable.
NCSC, or the National Cyber Security Centre, recommends that a password should comprise three totally random words. This makes it more challenging to guess it.
Each account must have a unique password, and if you cannot recall each password, leverage a password manager to help you.
2. Not Using MFA
Because even a strong password is not completely foolproof, multi-factor authentication adds one more layer of protection. Passwords are common cyber threats, so when a bad actor uses a correct password, they still cannot gain access to the account without the owner of the account letting them in.
If you get an alert that someone tried to access your account, such as from a text message containing a security code to your phone, and you know it’s not you, reset your password immediately.
3. Not Making Regular Software Updates
Taking advantage of any vulnerabilities in your software or applications is part of common cyber threats. The vendors of such software or applications are often aware of a security issue once it happens and will update their system accordingly.
However, for you, as the user to get the protection that they can give you, your digital security team must make regular software updates. It is not enough for the vendor to make a security patch; you must install it, too, to reap the rewards of the protection you get.
4. Using Unsecured Wi-Fi
When you think about it, a lot of work activities depend on the internet. If you or your employees are using a Wi-Fi network that does not have proper security, you are leaving your small business’s online security vulnerable, and prone to common cyber threats.
Should a cybercriminal get access to the network, they can infiltrate the entire computer system, including its files.
For protection, many small businesses will use a VPN or virtual private network. If you have questions about how a VPN could help you, we recommend you ask Your IT Group and learn about how Managed IT Services could benefit your small business.
5. Not Leveraging Firewalls and Antivirus Software
Common cyber threats include ransomware and malware, among others. A great way to protect your business is to have your digital security team install or activate antivirus software. It is simple and effective.
Many times, popular operating systems will offer free antivirus software as a part of a bundle package. Use it!
Further, do not install it and forget about it. As with other software, they can become obsolete over time, so be sure to stay up to date on versions and patches.
6. Neglecting to Backup Your Business Data
Protecting business data from hackers means performing regular backups. If you encounter a breach that leads to wiping, encrypting, or bringing down your small business network, the only way to get back to operating efficiently is by restoring a recent copy of your data.
The more often you backup, the more recent your data is, and the better position you will be in should something bad happen to your data.
7. Not Offering Cybersecurity Training to Staff
Even if you have a small staff, do not assume that they understand all the ins and outs of cybersecurity.
Statistics from the year 2022 suggest that insider threats are up, increasing by as much as 44%. However, over two-thirds of threat incidents are because of negligence versus malice.
What does this data tell us? Education is a key part of stopping cyber-attacks and protecting business data. Training should include how to spot a phishing email, what suspicious links often look like, and other ways bad actors attack and steal data.
Small Business Online Security
Don’t let cybersecurity harm your business or allow you to lose sleep at night. Take the right precautions and stop it before it happens to you. If you heed these tips for small business online security, you won’t be the next victim.
What else worries you about your business? We ask because we love to help companies like yours grow and thrive. That’s why we have a ton of articles on many topics with sound advice to climb mountains in the marketplace.
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