The internet offers all companies, small or large, a chance to enter new and widening markets and provides the facility to work with computer-based tools more efficiently. However, with cybercrime and cyber threats growing, learning proper cybersecurity procedures is crucial for small businesses.
Most small businesses utilize the internet to keep sensitive data but neglect cybersecurity. Small businesses often suffer because they lack the expertise and resources to adopt higher cyber safety tools.
Whether a small business uses cloud computing or just email and website maintenance, cybersecurity should be an essential component of the business’ security plan.
The theft of digital information of companies is just as common as physical theft and is becoming one of the most commonly reported types of fraud. Any business using the internet must create a culture of cybersecurity that enhances the confidence of small businesses and consumers.
Small businesses should not presume they won’t be the victim of cyberattacks. The Cybersecurity Breaches Survey 2017 found that a little less than half of all small business companies in Europe had been able to identify or attack at least one infringement of cyber safety in the last 12 months.
This means that even a small business owner needs to keep their business safe against any cyber attack.
No business, regardless of its size and industry, is immune to cyber-attacks. The risk of cybercrime for small companies is higher – but why?
Small businesses are a more convenient source of information like credit card numbers. Due to old machines and software sometimes, they are easier to access and lack security.
But, by making essential efforts to secure yourself and your organization online all small business companies can ease some risks.
Small business cybersecurity threat training is often unavailable to small business owners and employees, leading to costly blunders. Small businesses may be using weak passwords, forgetting to implement appropriate internet cybersecurity procedures, or failing to do so since proper training may have been disregarded.
Small companies do not have the same funds as larger companies do to ensure adequate cybersecurity. Small business cybersecurity is typically kept at the end of the funding list of most businesses.
Even if small business owners are interested in extra protection, it is sometimes difficult or impossible to provide the same level of safety as a significant business because of a smaller budget.
However, there are some tips that you can use to ensure maximum small business cybersecurity without additional costs and can protect the businesses, conceal important data used, and lower the risk of a privacy breach.
This article provides an elaborate list of tips to prevent a cyber-attack on small businesses and alternative European SaaS companies you can use to ensure maximum protection and cybersecurity for your business.
Backing up your data saves you from a significant loss in the event of a data breach.
10 ways to keep your small business safe
Below are some essential tips for any small business owner to minimize cybersecurity threats and the chances of any cyber attack. If you are a small business owner, be sure to prioritize these ten practices in your business.
1. Back up important data
Regardless of how you choose to back up your data and essential information, remember to always do so. Backing up your data saves you from a significant loss in the event of a data breach. Data used on all devices should be regularly backed up to secure your small business.
Back up the data used and store the copies off-site or on the cloud whenever possible, or at least every so often.
Never keep everything necessary for businesses in one place or on one device. Use an external backup drive, look for the several accessible cloud storage alternatives dedicated primarily to your small business data, or even consider a hardcopy duplicate of your information as well. Backup is only safe for businesses when all the data used is wholly protected.
The best approach to keeping important information of your business safe is installing encryption and encrypting all emails containing critical information on all devices and storage. Mostly cyber attacks on a small business come from an email; that is why encrypting them means you’re securing one of the most crucial streams.
You might want to consider using Hoplite Key Manager, which secures your data with only one password using a Waterproof hardware with IP68 protection. According to Hoplite’s technology, it manages all critical passwords, which is much safer than a cloud solution and stronger than an encrypted flash drive.
2. Train your employees
Sadly, small business employees can often be a part of cyber security threats on their companies intentionally or unintentionally. Usually, this is due to a lack of cyber security training and awareness. Do not grant access to all data used to any employee. An essential step for securing business information privacy is to educate all your staff regarding better minor business cybersecurity procedures.
Prevent unauthorized persons from accessing or using business computers. Staff should have access solely to the precise data systems they require for their tasks. No unnecessary software should be installed on the business devices without permission for security purposes.
Laptops can be specific targets to cyber-attacks and can be lost to theft; therefore, lock them when unattended. Ensure that for each employee, a separate user account is created, and strong passwords are needed. Only trusted IT employees and critical staff should be granted administrative privileges for the security of businesses. Establish fundamental staff safety practices and rules such as secure passwords and establish instructions on the Internet that outline penalties for infringements of small business cybersecurity policy.
Set behavior rules that describe how businesses’ customer information and other essential data can be treated and protected to ensure your devices have maximum security for your small business. Training employees and then setting some protocols to keep a healthy check and balance will give your business an extra layer of cybersecurity.
3. Use strong passwords for all accounts
A strong password is the ultimate way to protect all the crucial data used on a device. With the use of just a common primary password, the valuable information of your business and employees is left in a vulnerable position, and your business data is at risk.
Managers should encourage all staff to use multiple passwords and should frequently change passwords as well for security. It is one of the best practices to avoid data used breaches and enhance security for businesses.
It is more secure for your business to use complex and complicated passwords. You can also consider adopting password management software for enhanced security. Small business owners can easily install password managers for cyber security, which will create strong and secure passwords for your devices in use by your small business.
Use multiple passwords or a reliable password management application for different devices. Make sure that your employees use single passwords for a maximum of three months and then change passwords.
Take into account the use of multi-factor authentication for maximum security requiring additional information besides a password. Verify that your suppliers handle sensitive data used carefully.
Make sure your bank is authenticating your account by multi-factors. Setting up strong passwords and changing them every three months is another essential practice for any small business to cater to cybersecurity threats.
Password Managers Worth Checking Out
Dashlane: One of the leading password managers in the space, Dashlane keeps all your information safe and secure in one location. With Dashlane’s free account, you can save up to 50 passwords on one device. Need to share your log-ins, but don’t want to give away your password? No worries, Dashlane has you covered with their easy sharing tool.
NordPass: Brought to you by the company behind one of the most reliable VPN services globally – NordVPN – The NordPass password manager was designed using the latest encryption algorithm, XChaCha20, and has a zero-knowledge policy: your passwords are yours only — we know nothing.
KeePassXC: Is an open-source software password manager. Originally starting life on Windows, the software has made its way to other platforms including MacOS, Android, and iOS. One of the only free password managers, which is endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Make sure that after every update, you run your antivirus software, only to be safe.
4. Make sure your computers are updated
It is improbable that a 2007 antivirus software will still protect and maintain your PC, which is why up-to-date antivirus software should be used on all your PCs for any business. You can also run your antivirus software regularly on all computers in the firm, and it is also crucial to keep other software up-to-date. You can also defend your devices and security against malware and viruses by regularly updating your browser and operating system.
Make sure that after every update, you run your antivirus software, only to be safe. To keep your operating system, web browsers, and other applications secure, apply new updates on your devices. In most cases, the device may automatically update your program or manually download the software updates. If you follow all the steps mentioned above and your computers are updated, you’re halfway there in improving your cybersecurity.
5. Secure your Wifi Network
Just ensuring the safety of your Wi-Fi network is not enough; it must also be encrypted and concealed if you genuinely want to secure your business. It would help if you also ensured that the Wi-Fi password is only passed on to people who need it for cybersecurity.
The potential consequences of password sharing in an office environment can be grave for your business security, so ensure that all employees receive proper password protection training at work. Ensure that a Wi-Fi network is encrypted (e.g., WPA2) and that you regularly update your Wi-Fi password. It is one of the best practices to ensure the safety of data used for cybersecurity.
When accessing public Wi-Fi or unsecured networks, use a VPN (a virtual private network). Ensure that it’s safe, encrypted, and hidden. Configure the Wireless Access Point or Router to hide the Wi-Fi network, so the network’s name is not broadcast (SSID). Protect router access with a strong password.
6. Create a solid mobile device plan
Mobile devices can generate significant management and business cybersecurity threats, mainly if they include secret information or access to your business network. Ensure that your staff use password-protect devices, encrypt their sensitive data, and install safety apps to stop crooks from stealing information on public networks while on their phones. Ensure that reporting processes are set in a company policy if the devices are lost or stolen to secure your business information.
7. Use security patches
To keep your operating system, web browsers, and other applications secure, apply new business cybersecurity patches on your devices.
8. Use trusted tools
Work with trusted banks and corporations for security and to guarantee that there is no chance of fraud because your business is directly associated with it. Apart from your bank or processor contracts, you may require additional cybersecurity requirements for your small business, so ensure you work with companies willing to provide maximum protection and cybersecurity. Isolate payment systems to specific devices and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the internet to ensure you have top cybersecurity.
9. Avoid opening unfamiliar links and websites
Phishing emails are the leading cause of cyberattacks, and if you are unsure if an email is authentic or inauthentic, chances are it may be a phishing email. Carefully click on links supplied to you through emails, social media sites/apps, or strange websites to prevent phishing or ransomware. Every business must carry out proper workshops to keep their employees updated.
10. Control physical access of official devices
Prevent unauthorized persons from accessing or using your small business computers. Laptops of any small business can be specific targets or can be lost for theft. Only trusted IT employees and critical staff should be granted administrative privileges and access to official information within the devices.
European Cybersecurity companies to use
Here are some of the companies that you should try as a small business owner to increase the security of your business data.
As the world’s foremost digital risk protection platform, CybelAngel detects and counters cyber threats before they become a big problem to your business and personal data. CybelAngel protects its users that exchange and transfer data outside of their internal firewall. Organisations across the globe rely on CybelAngel to protect their business data and keep their brand reputation intact.
CybelAngel works by using a combination of superior scanning technology and keen human analysis to monitor the entirety of the internet for your enterprise’s data leaks and digital threats. The company then notifies you of any concerns. Your digital guardian angel.
Using AI-driven analytics to secure networks, Exeon is totally hardware-free, allowing organisations globally to immediately identify and eliminate cyber-security threats. The company’s team consists of experts in data science, machine learning, ethical hacking, and network security to ensure that their AI-driven security analytics works to protect you.
With an AI-based, user-centric authentication suite, Futurae provides authentication for a variety of uses. The company also adheres to the highest levels of regulatory and security guidelines offering users that peace of mind. The company is dedicated to providing a high level of customer service and user experience and makes their product seamless to integrate.
Key features include:
- Cloud deployment for web and mobile applications
- Modular authentication and transaction signing methods in one platform
- Frictionless two factor authentication (2FA), multi factor authentication (MFA), FIDO2 and passwordless
- Mobile SDKs, Futurae Security App, Whitelabel App, Hardware tokens
As a Cybersecurity as a service expert, iTrust has developed innovative products in Cyber & Artificial Intelligence. Focusing on servicing companies that hold sensitive information, the company provides robust protection against malicious & phishing attacks.
Users can develop a clear peace of mind since ITrust maintains compliance with NIS, GDPR, ISO27XXX, SOX, BaleIII, HIPAA, PCI/DSS, SAS70, SOC2, 3, and more. ITrust works with over 60 internal collaborators to develop software that works with the customer’s best interest at heart by protecting strategic assets against even the most complex and sophisticated of threats.
Operating as a complete cloud solution .OGO uses Artiicial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyse IP traffic and block malicious behavior. With an easy to use dashboard that is available for all users, .OGO is the first AI built specifically for SMBs to block cyberattacks, protect SSL certificates and more.
.OGO takes the complexity out of keeping your business safe and provides an affordable solution to keeping your business data safe and secure.
In the current digital market, large corporations sell the idea that small business cybersecurity can only be ensured through a well-equipped and high maintenance business cybersecurity system, which leaves small business owners in a dilemma about spending thousands of dollars on business cybersecurity software.
However, high maintenance software doesn’t guarantee 100% protection against cybercrimes for any given business. And so, through a bit of training and awareness regarding business cybersecurity threats and the use of these lesser-known SaaS, you can ensure that your small business data and business information is in safe hands and is being handled by well-known software or personnel for security rather than amateurs.
Even when using these SaaS, you must be well aware of your data’s cybersecurity and ensure that your data used is not in the wrong hands. It is better to take all the precautionary measures and keep a close eye on all your employees and the software that has the critical data used by your small business for security to avoid any cyber crimes. Implementing all these steps will help you have complete protection against cyber threats in the future and maximum security for your business.
About Kromnix: Based in Paris, Kromnix, a One-Stop Platform of Tech Providers, is reinventing the way Tech Providers communicate on their innovative solutions. Kromnix enhances their visibility on the market, and promote their unique technologies in Europe. For more info: https://kromnix.com.