The Top Online Security Measures All Small Businesses Should Take

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The Top Online Security Measures All Small Businesses Should Take

Cybersecurity is important to all businesses that exist online. It allows them to operate without interruption from hackers' financial exploits. 

Even if your company is planning to use email or has a small website in mind, your business needs to integrate cybersecurity into that plan. 

The theft of data and sensitive information is becoming more common in fraud reports. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report for Small Business, Ransomware has increased by 13% in a total of 25% breaches.

Fostering a culture of security is crucial in business. It can increase consumer confidence and maintain your business's online safety. 

If your goal is to increase your online security measures, here are the top ways you can prevent the growing cyber threats.

1. Invest in a Virtual Private Network

Since cybersecurity involves establishing perimeters around your IT network, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must-have for your small business. 

A VPN essentially adds another protective layer that can hide your online activities from hackers. VPNs are most useful, especially if you have remote employees accessing your network from home. 

Home networks are not as easily secure. Therefore, a VPN is a cybersecurity solution that allows remote employees to access your company’s VPN connection through their devices. 

2. Use Firewall Security

Firewall security is another option that prevents cybercriminals from accessing your data through a private network. 

You can easily protect your small business by enabling your operating system’s firewall. Or, you can install one for free using what’s available online. 

Firewall security is especially important if you have employees that work from home. If you do, ensure they have their home network systems protected by setting up a firewall.

3. Install Antivirus Software

Studies have shown that cybercriminals can hack into a company’s network 93% of the time, no matter the size of the business. This means you need around-the-clock protection, and installing antivirus software can be the solution. 

Viruses can download onto any computer and remain hidden while it collects your small business’s data. Often this refers to malware – software with malicious intent.

However, antivirus software detects and removes viruses on the spot. It also scans for harmful downloads and keeps your business safe from scams.

4. Backup Data Regularly

Small businesses should backup their data on the cloud or external hard drives. You can manually do this every week. However, automated backups ensure you store your data securely if you forget. 

Data backups are essential for small businesses. Because when you lose data to cyber-criminals, you still have a backup in this instance.

5. Avoid Opening Suspicious Emails

Emails are one of the most common ways hackers try to scam users. Many become victims of online fraud because they’ve stolen their personal information when a user downloads an attachment or clicks on a link.

These scams are known as “phishing,” which affects 7,700 organizations each month. Hackers will trick email recipients into giving them sensitive information, such as login credentials. 

Ensure you’re taking action by being suspicious of emails. When you open one, be careful not to download any attachments or click on links. It would help if you also considered updating your email password every other month to avoid this from happening to you. 

6. Use Complicated Passwords

Most computers and applications require a password for protection. However, simple passwords, such as 1234, are easy for hackers to crack. 

Instead, it would be best to use complex passwords with upper and lower case letters, alphanumeric characters and different symbols. Passwords like these are unpredictable and make it more difficult for hackers to decipher them. 

Keep Your Small Business Protected

You work hard in your small business. And the last thing you need is for an online criminal to take it away from you. Cybercrime is difficult to come back from, especially if they steal your customers’ information.

Therefore, you can ensure you protect your small business by always keeping these tips in mind.