Every giant organization we look at today probably was a start-up or small-scale operation in the past. Understanding the trend and taking the right decision at the right time has helped them to reach the pinnacle they are today. As the resources are always scarce and there are endless needs to be fulfilled, a small business has to prioritize its needs before addressing them. Sad as it may sound, the priority of cybersecurity is seldom found in such priority lists, let alone near the top. Keeping the fact in mind that a cyber-attack can wreak havoc to any organization independent of its size or presence, all of them should turn their focus to cybersecurity.
This post addresses some best practices for a cyber secured environment that every small business should follow.
Everybody has an Achilles hill, and the vulnerability is often found only after an incident. On an occasion where precious data is somehow lost or encrypted by a ransomware attack, your best friend would be, you guessed it right, the data you backed up earlier!
So best practices for a cyber secured environment include the practice of regular data backup. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, companies are still getting locked out of their information because they did not back it up properly in the past. A study predicted that in 2021 there will be a new ransomware victim every 11 seconds! Therefore, Make sure your small business does not fall into the same trap, make sure to make data back up your habit! Data backup should be performed on all the computers. Experts now suggest moving to cloud storage for data backup as it’s modern and more secured.
When it comes to the cybersecurity of an organization, no matter small or big, often it comes down to how aware all the employees are. Nowadays all of the organizational pcs are connected to one another which makes each of the employee’s pc an endpoint. So, a great cybersecurity threat is, an attack can come from any one of these. As a result, employee awareness is a vital point of best practices for a cyber secured environment.
For a small business, a precise internet use and network sharing guideline should not only be established but also strictly followed. In addition, regular training on cybersecurity and monitoring on how the employees are following the company cybersecurity protocols should be maintained. Basic security practices such as using a strong password, using different passwords for different accounts, using multi-factor authentication etc should be implemented and encouraged.
The best way to determine the current cybersecurity of your small business is to put cyber readiness to the test. Just like a fire drill, one way to do this is by simulating an actual cyber crisis. Maybe a large portion of the employees are reluctant on changing their password to a strong one, maybe others are not updating their cybersecurity solution’s security update, or in the worse case, their firewall is simply turned off. Some may fall victim to a very simple phishing scam. All of these are better to be exposed on a drill than an original attack which is why a tabletop exercise is a beneficial way to find and patch up the weaknesses.
Controlling data flow is another step towards ensuring best practices for a cyber secured environment. Setting up a firewall that prevents any outsider from accessing data on a private network would be your friend here. On a personal level, all unauthorized access to business computers should be prevented. Administrative access should be made as scarce as possible and only the trusted, experienced key personnel should have it.
In addition to this, the source of the incoming data should also be monitored. Organizational Wi-Fi networks should be set up in such a way that it does not broadcast the SSID (Service Set Identifier) and it’s encrypted, hidden and secured. Finally, regularly check the employee access to data and information. Each employee should have access to the exact amount of data they need, not more not less. The protection of sensitive data should be configured accordingly as well.
Small scale businesses are often under the delusion that their operation is too small to attract the intruders therefore a full-scale cybersecurity solution is probably not necessary for them. However, the true scenario is the opposite, no matter the size of the organization, if a cybercriminal can gain access to the data it’s his gain. Moreover, as the day progresses the cyberattacks are becoming more and more convoluted. Often the hackers use data stolen from a company to initiate an attack on another entity.
Bottom line, as a small business owner, don’t fool yourself thinking you do not need any cybersecurity, everyone does! Even if you devalue your company, a potential opportunity-seeking hacker won’t.
Small businesses are often high-value targets for hackers. Fortunately, there are modern professional complete cybersecurity tools that can build up a defensive wall against any potential cyber threats. Relying on these automated tools to take care of your vulnerability is a great idea. There are many forms of security layers, vulnerability scanners, internet security, endpoint security etc. Prevention is better than cure, a wise man would invest in his organizational cybersecurity today instead of paying the ransom some time into the future. So, best practices of a cyber secured environment include a fixed amount of allocation for every small business.
We are already into the cyber era. The more things are getting digital, threats for a full-scale cyber attack are creeping up as well. So, a small business without a focus on cybersecurity is just sitting ducks for the cybercriminals. As prevention is always better than cure and it is high time to turn the focus of organizations into cybersecurity, especially the small businesses. As work from home is becoming a new norm, if your organization has employees working from home, the task might become a bit arduous. However, the same protocols should be implemented and followed by them as well for the well-being of the entire organization.