In 2021, cybercrime will cost the world an astounding $6 trillion. That figure will skyrocket to $10.5 trillion per year by 2025.
These statistics are alarming, especially for small businesses, which have become a favorite target for tech villains. A staggering 43 percent of all cyberattacks target small businesses. Shockingly only 14 percent of small businesses can defend themselves against such attacks.
Investing in small business cybersecurity can help guarantee your business survival. 60 percent of SMEs that get hacked go out of businesses within six months.
The good news is that you can build a robust IT security strategy without spending much money. In today’s post, we highlight nine cybersecurity tips to safeguard your business against breaches.
1. Create New Passwords
One of the ways cybercriminals can access your data is by accessing your passwords. That’s why creating new, strong passwords should be among your first moves when working on your cybersecurity. This is especially important when you suspect your passwords may have landed in the wrong hands.
That said, try to avoid changing your passwords and other login information too frequently, as that may cause password fatigue.
2. Invest in a Reliable Password Manager
Using a password manager is at the top of password best practices. A password manager can help generate unique and secure passwords whenever you need them. More importantly, your password manager keeps track of all of your passwords for you.
Some password managers even allow you to hide other personal files, including pictures you want to keep private. All in all, a password manager is the best IT security solution you need to ward off unwanted parties from accessing your accounts.
3. Delete Unused Accounts
It’s common for people to use the same credentials for different accounts. Attackers who’ve hacked old accounts by accessing login credentials may attempt to hack into your new ones using the same credentials. Businesses that have gone through many employees are especially vulnerable.
The best way to ward off this threat is to delete any old accounts that you no longer use.
4. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds a layer of protection to your online accounts. It makes it difficult for someone else to access your account. You get a notification on your mobile device when someone tries to login into your account and can prevent it right away.
5. Invest in Security Software
One of the best cybersecurity solutions you can have is to invest in security software. There’s a variety of top-notch antimalware software meant to guarantee network security.
Consider investing in appropriate firewalls as well. Where you allow employees to use mobile devices for work purposes, insist on employees having security apps on these devices to protect business data. Ensure your remote workers are taking these security precautions too.
6. Ensure Your Software Is Up to Date
Keeping all your business software up to date is a vital part of avoiding cybercrime. No software is immune to bugs, which is why developers are always updating their software and adding new security features. As vulnerabilities become apparent, software developers take the right measures to patch them up.
Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for weaknesses they can exploit. Ignore software updates, and you may just be their next victim.
7. Training Employees to Identify Attacks
Phishing attacks are one of the most preferred tactics hackers use to breach businesses. While phishing attacks take many forms, spear phishing is one of the commonest. This form of phishing entails personalizing the attack to a specific target, making it extremely convincing.
Take the time to educate your employees about these attacks. Make sure that they know what details to look out for and what to do to thwart these attacks.
Once you’ve provided the right training on boosting IT security, be sure to hold employees accountable. Doing so ensures that everyone in your organization takes cybersecurity seriously.
8. Consider the Cloud
An increasing number of businesses are turning to the cloud for storage solutions. When you use a credible cloud provider, you don’t need to worry about data transfers. Your provider ensures that all your important business data is secure and readily available.
The truth is cybercriminals now use highly sophisticated methods and can breach just about any small business out there. Ensuring that your data is stored in the cloud means that in case of a breach, you can still restore your data and resume operations in your business as soon as possible.
9. Outsource Your IT Security
For many small businesses, hiring a full-time IT security team is too expensive. Paying a regular salary plus other benefits can set you back a significant amount of money every month.
The best solution is to opt for managed IT services. When you outsource IT services, you get to benefit from the expertise of an IT security team at a fraction of the cost of working with an in-house team.
A managed IT services company will assess your current IT security situation and help you tackle any vulnerabilities. They can help you transition to the cloud, secure your WiFi, choose the right security software, and so on. Moreover, your managed IT security services provider will help you find the right vendors for your IT security solutions.
Invest in Small Business Cyber Security to Thwart Attacks
As the threat of cybercrime continues to rise, entrepreneurs have no option but to invest in small business cybersecurity. Thankfully, a robust cybersecurity plan doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. The steps we’ve recommended in this guide can help significantly boost your resilience against cyber attacks.