No matter your business size, you can always take it online. The online market possibilities are endless. There are two types of businesses you can run online: cloud computing or maintaining a website. Whatever option you choose, it is important to include cybersecurity. Staying safe while doing online business should be your number one priority. Your business could run into severe issues in case of digital information fraud or any online scams and hacker attacks. To improve the safety of your online business, we want to talk about the essential cybersecurity tips for small businesses. Here is everything you need to know to protect your small business online.

Best practices of cybersecurity

Even though there are many different approaches to protecting your online business, there are some best practices that every company should follow. Those include:

  • educating employees about cybersecurity
  • protecting your network
  • securing your internet connection with a firewall
  • protecting mobile devices
  • backing up your information
  • maintaining user account
  • securing Wi-Fi network access

Let us see why these best practices are so important and how they can influence your online business and cybersecurity.

How to train your employees in cybersecurity?

To protect your online business from hacker attacks, educating your employees on cybersecurity best practices is crucial. You need to establish basic security principles, guidelines, and policies.

Lines of code with the message “You got hacked”
The best way to protect your business from hacker attacks is to train your employees in cybersecurity.

For example, all employees should learn how to create strong passwords and only use the internet for business purposes. They should understand the consequences of violating safety practices in how dire they can be to the business. You should aim to create a strong company culture that nurtures the best practices of online safety.

How to protect your internal network?

Every business runs on an internal network. All computers must be connected to that network so the employees can do their daily tasks. A lot of information is being shared between computers, and that is when cyber-attacks can happen. To keep your network safe, it is crucial to have the latest security software installed.

The browser and your operating system must be up to date. That is the best way to protect your network against various viruses or other online threats. Furthermore, you need to enable your anti-virus software to do daily scans and look for software updates. As soon as you see that an update is out, you need to ensure that it’s installed on all your machines immediately.

While we are on the subject of keeping up with the software updates, make sure to update your website software as well. Hackers often use bugs in older versions to break into the system. If that happens, it might create negative SEO for your business and seriously expose customer information.

Always keep the firewall enabled

The firewall protects your internet connection from hacker attacks. Hackers usually attack businesses by accessing their private networks. However, enabling the firewall will ensure your internet connection is safe from breaches.

How to ensure the safe use of mobile devices?

Smartphones have become an inseparable part of our lives. They are also heavily used for business purposes. A company may allow its employees to use smartphone apps to perform their daily tasks or access internal communication software.

A mobile device with the security screen turned on.
You should only allow access to your business network on protected mobile devices.

Furthermore, an employee may join a company call while outside of the office or answer their emails while on vacation. However, employees also use smartphones in their private life. That is a serious threat because your phone could easily be infected with a virus that will jeopardize business apps as well. If that happens, an employee will unintentionally expose their company to a hacker attack.

Before you allow your employees to use smartphones for business purposes, you need to ensure that they use strong passwords and company apps that protect your network from security breaches. It is also a good idea to enforce the use of two-factor authentication and to tell your employees to immediately report if the phone is lost or stolen.

Always create backup copies of information

This should be one of the best practices you should make mandatory. If you regularly back up company computers and create copies of important data, you will be able to restore the data in case of a network failure. Companies can quickly go down if they lose their financial files, HR files, receivables or payment, and any spreadsheets or databases they use for maintaining information.

This will seriously hinder company sales, and the only way to power through this is to back up your data regularly to maintain sales momentum in a crisis. When setting up a backup plan, you can either do it daily, if possible, or at least every week. Keep everything stored on the Cloud, so it is easily accessible when needed.

Screen with binary code.
To protect your business, you must protect company data.

Create user accounts and set permission restrictions

Every user connected to the business network should be protected with a user account. That will prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing computers and expose your business to a serious violation of security guidelines. Furthermore, employees often step away from their desks, and they might leave their computers unattended. If they have a user account, they can lock it so that no one can log in without the password.

An additional safety stop is to configure accounts and set permission restrictions.  every employee should not be able to access the software they do not use for daily activities. This is a very important security guideline because it will prevent human errors and potential loss of data. Furthermore, you should limit access to installing software on computers. Only the IT department should be able to do that.

Secure Wi-Fi networks

If your company uses a Wi-Fi network, you need to make sure it is encrypted, secure, and hidden. Only employees should be able to access this network, and they should only use it for business purposes. You should also create a guest network that employees or visitors can use to connect their mobile devices to the internet.

Essential cybersecurity tips for small businesses explained

As long as you follow these essential cybersecurity tips for small businesses, your company network should be safe from any cyber-attacks. Make sure that your employees understand all of the security guidelines and follow them strictly. This will protect your business and your customers and keep the business safe from potential lawsuits.

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