Computer networking culture has transformed from sharing minimal information to transferring tons of data every second. Today, cybersecurity is not only a concern for big enterprises but small businesses also. Cyber threats have multiplied manifolds since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic due to the incubation of online and remote work cultures globally.
There is an urgency to create a solid cybersecurity and incident response plan strategy. When practicality comes into existence, there arises a question – how can small businesses defend or mitigate potential cyber-attacks without spending much on expensive cyber security software.
Before answering this question, it is important to know the potential cyber threats to small businesses.
What are the potential cyber threats to small businesses?
- Advanced persistent threats
- Malware threats
- Email threats
- Video teleconferencing threats
How to get started with planning cybersecurity measures to protect small businesses?
It is imperative to understand the critical areas of your business that need protection and robust security at the most. Business dynamics are huge, and it is pretty important to stay aligned with crucial and sensitive areas that require the most attention. Analyze and document the critical regions of your business.
Five cybersecurity measures every small business must adopt
Let’s dive in straight to the cybersecurity measures.
1- Implement the principle of least privilege (POLP)
The principle of least privilege is the idea of providing limited access to the users. Users have been given the right to access only the information required to perform their particular task to strengthen computer network security. It avoids privilege creeps that pose cybersecurity risks to the organization.
How to implement POLP in your business?
- Execute a privilege audit to check for privilege creep in the existing processes.
- Now, start restricting and granting the system access according to the work requirement.
- Also, separate high and low-level privilege accounts according to the level of access.
- Add just-in-time requests to high-level privilege accounts to avoid unnecessary permission grants.
- Keep tracking an individual’s activity to prevent potential damage.
2- Enforce advance password policies
As per a survey, around 92% of people adopt very risky passwords. Passwords are an integral element of individual identification and help secure business systems and networks. There is a term in computer networking – password hygiene – to prevent credential leaks.
What are the best password hygiene practices?
- Use passphrases- These are complex long phrases that are difficult to decode. For example- h#thpo%?’ 980~Qjuhjd;45^02$Q@
- Use a password manager- Remembering complex passwords can be challenging. One can use a password manager to manage their passwords safely.
- Use Multifactor authentication- This is the cleanest and safest way to secure information. No one can get access to the system or software without your permission.
3- Enterprise security patch management
Patch updates fall behind most of the time, paving the way for a security breach. Therefore, it is important to keep your devices and software updated. Developers push a security patch to update the existing system. The reason for delayed patch updates is that it is complicated to know the vulnerabilities and holes in the system at once. Gradually systems are tested, experimented with, and later fixed for potential breaches.
4- Use VPNs and firewalls
VPN is a secure path for online browsing. It establishes an encrypted internet connection between the server and your device. As a result, it masks the system’s identity – offering protection against unauthorized access and data breach. Investing in an effective VPN solution can be an affordable cybersecurity solution for small businesses.
What features should be considered while shortlisting the right VPN for small businesses?
- No log policy
- Multiple server locations
- Compatible with mobile apps
- Kill switch
- Anonymous browsing
- DNS leak protection
- Remote access to all employees
5- Train your staff
Educating and training your staff is imperative. No matter how advanced technology you implement in your business, if employees aren’t adopting best practices for cybersecurity – nothing can work for your business.
How to train your staff?
- Conduct webinars and workshops to make your employees aware of cybersecurity measures.
- Teach employees to spot suspicious phishing attacks.
- Encourage good internet practices among staff – scanning attachments, carefully looking at email formatting, etc.
Implementing these cybersecurity measures in small businesses will reap the best output. You will be surprised to know – cybercrime generates more revenue than global drug trafficking. Threats are expanding dramatically, and its anatomy is becoming multiplexed. Conventional approaches to defending against cyber-attacks cannot adapt to the changing dynamics of advanced cyber attacks.
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