Cybersecurity Tips for Small and Medium Businesses

Practical and Affordable Ways to Boost Your Cyber Defenses

As a small or medium business owner, you may think you're not a prime target for cyber attacks. Unfortunately, that misconception can leave you vulnerable. In 2022, 61% of data breaches involved small businesses.

Cyber criminals go after SMBs because they typically have fewer security resources than larger enterprises. But implementing some basic cybersecurity practices can go a long way in protecting your business data and assets.

Use Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication

Weak passwords are one of the most common entry points for hackers. Require all employees to use long, complex passwords that are unique for each account and application. Better yet, use a password manager to store and encrypt passwords.

You should also enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, like a code sent to your phone, in addition to a password.

Keep Software Up-To-Date

Hackers are constantly finding new software vulnerabilities to exploit. That's why it's critical to install security updates for operating systems, applications, and firmware as soon as they are released.

Set up automatic updates whenever possible. For systems that don't allow automatic patching, assign an employee to regularly check for and install updates.

Back Up Data Regularly

Ransomware and other malware can make your business data unusable or permanently delete it unless you pay a ransom. The best way to recover from such attacks is to maintain frequent backups of critical data.

Use the 3-2-1 approach: Keep at least 3 backup copies on 2 different storage types, with 1 copy offsite or in the cloud. Test restoring from backups periodically.

Provide Cybersecurity Training

Your employees are the first line of defense against phishing, social engineering, and other cyber threats that exploit human vulnerability. Train them on cybersecurity best practices and how to spot potential attacks.

Conduct routine security awareness activities to keep cybersecurity top of mind. Consider requiring all employees to complete annual cybersecurity training.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

If sensitive customer, employee or financial data falls into the wrong hands, it could devastate your business. Encryption encodes information so it appears like gibberish to anyone not authorized to access it.

Encrypt data both at rest (stored data) and in transit (data being transmitted) using industry-standard encryption protocols.

No business is too small to ignore cybersecurity. Invest time and resources into protecting your digital assets. It's one of the smartest business decisions you can make.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these topics or more, please do not hesitate to reach out.