Starting a small business is hard. There is so much to think about right when you begin. It seems like there are constantly more and more boxes that need to be checked. Cybersecurity for your business is one of those boxes. In fact, it should probably be one of the first things that any small business owner focuses on. Why? You see, 60% of small businesses will suffer a cyber-attack at some point in their existence. Of those, half will fail within 6 months of the attack. Many hackers will prey on small businesses because they tend to not invest in cybersecurity early on. Lucky for you, you know better. Our team compiled some of our surefire ways to up your cybersecurity. Here are our cybersecurity tips for your small business.
Enable Dual-Factor Authentication
What is dual-factor authentication? Dual-factor authentication is basically the idea that you need 2 steps to log into your account. Normally, you punch in a password and you’re good to go. However, this can be easy for a hacker to break into. All they need to do is figure out 1 password. With dual-factor authentication, it adds a second step that needs more than the said password. For example, you could type in your password and then get a push notification on your phone that you would need to approve. Or you could need to type in your password and then answer a question of some sort. Really, it could be anything. However, this simple step basically doubles your login security and adds almost no extra work for you or your staff. One of our favorite platforms is DUO which offers up to 10 users free to use their dual-factor authentication.
Curious about how well dual-factor authentication works? A 2019 report from Microsoft concluded that 2FA works, blocking 99.9% of automated attacks. This is a quick and easy thing any business can set up in minutes and drastically reduce the chance of getting hacked.
Anti-Virus Software is a Must
These days, you can’t go a single day without hearing news about a certain virus spreading around the world. Similarly, you wouldn’t want a virus wreaking havoc on your devices! Viruses can affect anything from desktop computers to phones, to personal laptops. They are bad news. Luckily, there is plenty of rock-solid anti-virus software out there. Each one has different pros and cons, but the important thing is just investing in one. This software may cost you a small chunk of cash at the beginning, but it has the potential to save your whole business in the future.
If you use windows you may be in luck. Microsoft provides built-in antivirus called Defender with Windows at no additional charge. The defender has been proven to be as good as a paid-for antivirus.
If you don’t use windows don’t fret there are great options out there for you as well. Programs like EDR, XDR, and MDR are becoming more accessible to small businesses and have a price most can afford. Here is an article about it: EDR, XDR, and MDR
Don’t Take Work Home with You
No one likes doing homework. What if I told you that it can be a security risk? Some companies will allow staff to use their own personal devices to do work-related tasks. This isn’t a great idea because personal devices usually aren’t as well protected as work issues ones. The computers at the office may have anti-virus software or be using a firewall-protected network. This is not the case when it comes to Gary’s MacBook from 2011. While it may seem convenient to allow your staff to use their own devices for work-related tasks, it puts your company at a major risk.
Back Up Your Data
Let’s imagine a worst-case scenario. Your business has been hacked. Your data has been stolen. It’s all gone… Until you remember that you backed it all up at the beginning of the month. What could have been a business-ending incident has maybe only set you back a couple of weeks. Backing up your data is one of the most important things you can do. It may seem like a waste of time or storage space, but you’ll be happy to have those backups if you are to ever lose all your work.
Train Your Staff
You could have the best cybersecurity that money could buy; top of the line anti-virus software; a firewall that would impress the US government, but it might not even matter. Why? All it would take would be for Gary to click 1 link in an obvious scam email and now hackers have access to everything. What may seem like common sense to some people could be brand new to others. This is exactly why it is important to train your staff. Don’t just hold one training and call it quits. It is important to have continuing education when it comes to stuff like this, so your staff doesn’t put your business at risk. Like many of these other cybersecurity tips, this is a small investment with a potentially HUGE return for your business. Play it safe.
When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Small businesses are especially at risk these days, so it is better to stay on top of this. Of course, these are just a small handful of cybersecurity tips. Doing just a little bit of research will help you discover all the other important things to keep in mind for your business. If you need guidance when it comes to implementing any services like these, Aspis Consulting will have all the answers!
Who is Aspis Consulting?
Aspis is a cybersecurity consulting firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri with branches in Duluth, Minnesota, and Washington DC. Our team offers a full suite of services including Darkweb Monitoring Solutions, Cybersecurity Management Consulting, and Cybersecurity Consulting to both commercial and government clients. Aspis has a mission of democratizing cybersecurity and bringing it to anyone that needs it. Aspis Consulting has been featured in countless articles including Forbes next 1000, IBM’s newsletter, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Dream Big Awards. To learn more on how Aspis can help you with your cybersecurity in Kansas City or across the country check out our website. Also, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up to do on cybersecurity news, local updates, and need to know cybersecurity tips.