Every new business on the Internet needs to learn how to stay safe from day one.
Since 60% of small businesses that experienced a cyberattack go bankrupt within six months from the attack, it’s clear that SMBs are equally endangered as their larger colleagues.
Because of that, it’s important not to leave anything to chance when it comes to cybersecurity.
In this article, we’re going to share some easily applicable and practical tips on how to protect a new business on the Web.
1.Ensure proper authentication
A username and a password were the main authentication features for decades.
Still, with the advancement of available security tools, many companies have embraced some other authentication options to increase their Internet security.
In line with that, you can opt for various authentication factors, such as two-, three-, or multi-factor authentication. In addition to the security features above, you can add one more or several levels of authentication. The most common option that most businesses use is receiving a special code via SMS or email, as the second authentication factor, in addition to the password.
One step further is adding face, fingerprints, or eyeball (iris) recognition via a mobile phone to prove that you are the person with the credentials in question.
Some other authentication elements include providing your employees with security tokens to let them enter their office or your company premises.
By adding several factors to authenticate your business, you’ll reduce the risk of unauthorized penetration into your security system and protect all your business data.
2.Bring a password policy
Your employees must know that a password that goes 123456789 is a bad choice. While this sounds self-explanatory, many employees don’t understand how important it is to create a strong password and regularly change it.
Even some business owners might think that their business is not important enough to be attacked. However, the stats from the introduction show that every business entity is a potential target of cyberattacks.
Because of that, organize a training session for your employees in which you’re going to explain why every individual need to take responsibility for proper online protection.
Prepare a presentation on several businesses that had to close down after experiencing a hacker attack.
Provide your workers with statistical data to back your claims.
Make a list of written rules that will remind your employees how to handle their passwords.
If you have an in-house security team or one responsible person, they need to delete every username and password sent to their colleagues. Your employees can use KeePass or other password managers to keep their usernames and passwords safe.
Additional two cents: advise your workers to use passphrases instead of passwords. They’re easy to remember and hard to break.
3.Keep protection features updated
When you’re starting a business, you have several systems that you need to handle from the security point of view, as follows:
- Server security. No matter if you’re the admin of your server services or you have someone do that part for you, all the server protection features need to be regularly updated. It’s recommended to new SMB owners who have no experience with hosting, servers, and similar features to find a reliable provider who will maintain them.
- Cloud security. Businesses that keep their data on the cloud need to protect them, as well. Various cloud-storage providers offer full packages of services, which usually include those features, as well. Businesses handling sensitive financial, or intelligence data should apply cloud encryption when transferring files to and from the cloud. That way, you’ll prevent hackers from intercepting your business data.
- Computer security. Every machine that you have in the office is a potential target. Therefore, make sure that all your workers regularly update all their security software tools, from antivirus and antimalware to the firewall and other similar tools. The best option is to set automatic updates for all those solutions.
4.Set the rules on using mobile devices
Due to the increase in the number of people working remotely, many companies have allowed their workers to take company desktop computers or laptops to work from home.
When it comes to company desktop computers, they’re less prone to hacker attacks and data theft because they’re always used at the same place. If the employee in question follows all the company security rules and the tips we’ve already shared in this article, the risk of being exposed to cyberattacks is significantly lower.
The situation with mobile devices, such as laptops and tablets, is a bit different. If someone often changes the place they work (café, restaurant, public spaces), they’re usually exposed to different threats.
For starters, not all Wi-Fi networks are equally protected. A password is a minimum-security requirement for an Internet network. If you’re using public Wi-Fi networks, be careful and see who the provider is. Avoid using open private networks, because this makes your device and your data exposed to the risk of data interception and theft.
5.Make the security features visible
When it comes to SMB online security, keeping a business website properly protected is one of the key things to do.
As explained by the web designers from a Houston web design company, displaying security features on a business website can significantly increase its security level.
When potential perpetrators see that your website is secured by an antivirus program and that you have SSL protection (the small lock next to the address bar), most of them will give up on trying to hack it. It can be compared to a car alarm label that repels thieves from trying to steal a car.
Moreover, you need to prevent hotlinking. This is a process in which other business owners and hackers steal your hyperlinks and images to post them on their websites. Talk to your web designer and hosting company to see what plugins to add to the website to prevent your rivals from a potential theft of visuals and other website elements.
While it’s hard to guarantee total security on the Web, the more requirements from the above you meet, the more secure your small business will be.
In line with that, teach your employees how to keep their computers safe and deploy two- or multi-factor authentication.
Establish clear rules on password management and update all the security tools regularly. If you let your workers take company laptops and other devices home, make them aware of all the potential threats to business data.
Finally, make security labels visible on your website to show that it’s a fully protected business website.
All these elements will help you run your business securely in the modern digital environment.