Small Business Cybersecurity: Steps To Protect Your Data Online

Business Cybersecurity Software On Mobile Device
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As the recent Optus and Medibank breaches have shown, ensuring that your business cybersecurity systems are secure is more important than ever. While there is a common misconception that small businesses are less likely to be targeted, they are in fact more common targets due to weaker security practices and the lack of resources when compared to bigger organisations.

Cyberattacks are also a greater financial threat to small business operators. The interruption to service and reputational damage caused by an attack is much more likely to affect the operations of small business, compared to a large business that can afford to take a hit and carry on their operations. Think about it: could your business afford to slow down for a day, a week, or even a month?

Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to improve your business cybersecurity and prevent interruptions to your business. Working through these steps with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a great way to prevent these incidents from occurring, helping you and your staff to work safely online with proper protections in place.

1. Train Your Employees (including yourself) To Practice Good Cybersecurity Habits

The most common entry point for hackers into your business? Your staff! From opening phishing emails to accidentally disclosing login credentials online, it is often the employees of a business who accidentally give access to a business’ network and data.

Teaching staff safe online habits, establishing clear security policies, and having regular training sessions on the latest cybersecurity issues are great ways to keep your business safe. This type of training can easily be conducted by your IT support provider, who can assess your current cybersecurity practices and provide expert advice on how your business can stay safe.

2. Backup Your Important Business Data Regularly

Even the biggest companies are susceptible to a data breach, so how do you deal with them when they happen? Ransomware attacks, which made up 24% of all Notifiable Data Breaches in the first half of 2021, work by encrypting your files and blocking access to them until a ransom is paid. Regularly backing up your data is one way to mitigate the damage of any such breach, ensuring that if you get locked out of your computers you’ll be able to reboot your system, get back online, and restore access to your files quickly.

Many cyberattacks are not performed by a hacker actively sitting behind a keyboard, they instead typically consist of automated malware that is sent out en masse in the hopes of catching a few users off-guard. With your data regularly backed up to a business sever or cloud-based solution, you’ll be able to prevent business data loss and prevent further interruptions to your operations and recover your data quickly.

Office With Business Cybersecurity System In Place

3. Keep Your Software Updated

While you might know how to schedule a Windows update or have your iMac set to auto-update overnight, what about your antivirus software? Your wi-fi routers firmware? Utility software such as Adobe Reader? 

Software companies regularly release updates which patch potential vulnerabilities. This means that if you are behind on updates, your business could be at risk. Software updates are key to ensuring your IT systems stay protected. Partnering with a business IT support provider means they can remotely perform updates on a regular basis. This means you can stay focused on your day-to-day operations without having to worry about each new software patch or system update

4. Implement Multiple Layers Of Security Protection

Most users understand the importance of having unique, complex passwords that are not easily guessed by hackers. But passwords are just one layer of protection and business owners should look to utilise multiple layers of protection to ensure their data stays secure.

Setting up mandatory multi-factor authentication for all users is a great first step. This can be achieved by utilising apps like Microsoft Authenticator to provide a two-step process involving an employee’s password and their personal phone’s biometric or PIN code to login.

Business owners should also talk to their IT provider about installing a firewall on their network, encrypting their business data, and performing ongoing network monitoring. These steps will all work together to ensure that the only users on your network are your staff and prevent your important business data from being compromised.

Business Cybersecurity Analyst Checking Server

5. Carry Out A Full IT System Risk Assessment

Finally, one of the most important things you can do is to carry out a full IT risk assessment for your business, utilising either an in-house IT technician or a business IT provider like Concord IT. While most users have installed some form of antivirus software on their personal devices before, the assessment of your cybersecurity systems should be done by a professional to ensure every step is carried out properly.

A managed service provider will be able to identify and analyse any potential threats to your business and help you address any potential vulnerabilities. From installing a firewall, to re-organising roles and authorisations within your security environment, an MSP will be able to work with you to properly assess your business cybersecurity and identify the areas you’ll need to monitor and maintain on going forward.

At Concord IT we specialise in creating harmonious IT systems that are safe, stable and secure. We’ll work with you to determine the best cybersecurity solutions for your business and ensure that proper practices are in place to prevent incidents before they occur.

If you think your business could benefit from a business cybersecurity assessment or need to upgrade your IT hardware get in touch with our team for a free IT consultation today.

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