There are a few absolute necessities to get you started on securing your small business from cyber threats.
Secure your networks.
Wi-Fi is everywhere nowadays, and it’s the first place to look when ensuring your business is cyber secure: “Network security strategies are all about preventing unauthorized use and misuse of your computer network—in other words, the devices and data controlled by your network administrator.”
Make sure to use strong passwords to keep your networks private, and use separate networks for important business activities and other uses (IoT, public access, etc.). In 2017, hackers managed to funnel 10 gigabytes of sensitive data out of an American casino by accessing a network-connected smart fish tank control device. This is a cautionary tale for keeping a lock on private networks and being aware of any devices that could be compromised.
Back up your data constantly.
Data backups are fundamental to cybersecurity for small businesses. Not only will they safeguard your business from malicious demands from ransomware, but you will also be protected in the case of force majeure or events like data corruption or physical damage.
Keeping multiple backups is ideal. Cloud storage is seamless and convenient but still liable to be breached by cybercriminals. Make sure you’re regularly backing up important data physically—on a separate, offline hard drive—to be 100 percent certain you have that information on hand if something goes wrong.
Keep everything up to date.
Software patches prioritize security improvements, as developers recognize that cyber threats are continuously evolving. Just as biological viruses can mutate and cause problematic infections among humans beings, outdated software won’t have the “immunities” needed to protect from new malicious software or hackers.
Keeping all software up to date is important not only to protect from cyber threats but also to avoid service interruptions and bugs and to keep your business running smoothly.