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Posted 25th January 2022

The ABCs of Cybersecurity: How Small Businesses Can Safeguard Their Online Safety

Any business can be a target of hackers. Company size doesn't matter—as long as you have what cybercriminals want—you are their prey.

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The ABCs of Cybersecurity: How Small Businesses Can Safeguard Their Online Safety
Cybersecurity

Any business can be a target of hackers. Company size doesn’t matter—as long as you have what cybercriminals want—you are their prey.

Data is essential; and in today’s online society, personal data can be just as appealing as cash. Small businesses gather more crucial data than ever before, making them ideal targets. Payment data, personal information, and intellectual property are all targets for cybercriminals.

 Here are some easy ABC guides to safeguard your business from cybercriminals and ensure your online safety:

 

1. Assess Your Vulnerabilities

Identifying your vulnerability will serve as the basis of your cybersecurity infrastructure. To start, you need to conduct a cyber vulnerability assessment by identifying your organization’s computer networks, hardware, software, and applications. 

After identifying your resources, you can proceed to penetration testing to determine the information security risk associated with your company’s cyber assets. But before you choose a penetration testing service provider, you must understand the different types of penetration tests available and select which one is for you. 

There are five types of penetration testing you can try:

  • Penetration Testing of Internal and External Infrastructure – An examination of network infrastructure, focusing on assets within the corporate network, or external penetration testing, focusing on internet-facing infrastructure.

  • Web Application Testing – A test for websites and custom applications to identify coding, design, and development errors that can be maliciously used.

  • Mobile Applications Testing – Testing conducted on platforms such as Android and iOS to identify authentication, authorization, data leakage, and session handling issues.

  • Build and Configuration Testing – Examines network builds and configurations for misconfigurations on web and app servers, routers, and firewalls.

  • Wireless Penetration Testing – A WLAN (wireless local area network) test that specifically focuses on an organization’s WLAN.

 

2. Build a Culture of Security

Now that you know your vulnerabilities, you must create policies that can be ingrained into your organization’s decisions, processes, and mentality. Educate your employees on online safe practices and document your best practices. This may take a while to build but keep at it until everyone gets the hang of your policies.

There are many ways to do this in your company. Here are some simple safety practices that you can incorporate into your security culture:

  • Secure emails

Inform employees to refrain from using their business email addresses to subscribe to untrustworthy mailing lists. Never open a link or attachment without first scanning it. When you open an infected email, you allow ransomware to enter your computer, increasing the likelihood of more serious security breaches. Finally, clean up your email regularly and use antispam software.  

  • Activate two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication enhances the layer of protection to your account and keeps unwanted visitors out. This security scheme works by verifying both your password and your device. Often, a one-time password (OTP) is sent to your smartphone via SMS.  Even if intruders figured out your password, your account cannot be accessed without the OTP.

  • Turn on your firewall

A firewall prevents unauthorized access to data on a private network. Make sure the operating system’s firewall is turned on or install free firewall software from the internet. Hackers scour the internet for vulnerable systems through sending pings, and your firewall is a protective barrier against these.

  • Backup copies of important files

Your business should safely keep important word documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial accounts, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payables because these are all critical data. Back up data automatically, or at least weekly, and keep backup copies offsite or in the cloud.


3. Create An Incident Response Plan

A cybersecurity incident response plan is a set of guidelines designed to assist businesses in preparing for, detecting, responding to, and recovering from network security incidents. In case of a breach, every employee must collaborate with the company’s security action plan by reporting cyber-attacks.  

While most issues are technology-focused, any significant cyber-attack can have a wide-ranging impact on an organization. Thus, your plan has to include your employees, suppliers, and partners. 

 

Wrapping It Up

As a business owner, you have to build impenetrable defenses to protect yourself, your business, and your customers. Being prepared can help you strengthen your defenses. Hence, always remember your ABCs: Assess your vulnerabilities, build a culture of security, and create an incident response plan. Also, do not underestimate the importance of building a culture of security in your company. Create cybersecurity policies that foster long-term security habits in your employee’s day to day life.

Categories: News, Strategy


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