7 Cybersecurity Tips for Your Small Business

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The average cost of a data breach for a business is over $4 million. Most businesses don’t have the resources to absorb that kind of unexpected cost. Having and acting on cybersecurity tips can make the difference between a business ruining event and a regular day.

In a recent Website Rating article, 20 business IT services and security experts including Be Structured’s CEO, Chad Lauterbach weighed in on their favorite tools to protect online privacy and ensure security.

Here is a summary of seven key tips that will help your business remain safe and secure in today’s digital marketplace.

1. Multi-Factor Authentication

Years ago, the only thing you needed to sign into any account was a username and password. The vulnerabilities in this setup became obvious as hackers and scammers became better. Now, most major services offer multi-factor authentication.

To stay safe online, you can and should link your accounts to a cell phone or other device. This means that no one who doesn’t have your cell phone can access your accounts, regardless of the username or password. Adding this extra layer of protection has revolutionized cybersecurity.

There’s no reason not to use multi-factor authentication. It will make your business more secure, and it will make your customers feel safer.

2. VPNs

VPN stands for virtual private network, and it can be a game changer for security. This means that no one will be able to track your activity back to a physical location. Depending on the VPN, it can originate from a different country or state.

There are a lot of benefits when it comes to accessibility with a VPN. Not only does it protect your data and bandwidth, but it also helps if you need to scale up your network. A service that can provide internet security and expansion is a win-win proposition.

Managed IT security services are a cornerstone of company cybersecurity. Employing a VPN is one of the best ways to prevent attacks from happening in the first place. Your business is already a target, so the better hidden any vulnerability is, the less open to attack you are.

3. Stay Up to Date

Patches and software upgrades are always being rolled out as vulnerabilities are discovered. Major companies have entire teams of developers working on cybersecurity issues. It is important that you stay updated so that you can take advantage of their work.

In the realm of business cybersecurity, one attack exposes weaknesses in all systems. Applying all patches and updates is the only way to ensure you don’t fall victim to an exploitable weakness. The older and more out of date your system is, the easier it is to find weaknesses.

Hackers and scammers share information, too, so once one figures out a weakness, the knowledge spreads.

It’s also important to make sure that when you run an email marketing campaign, that you create security parameters that avoid anything that might appear as phishing or spamming exercises.

4. Avoid Phishing Scams

You should always be skeptical of emails and calls that are seeking information. If you receive something that you feel is suspicious, the chances are it is. There are warning signs to look out for, and training your staff is key to stopping a phishing attack.

It is expected that by the end of 2022, there will have been over 6 billion phishing attacks made. You can’t rely on any software to keep you safe from phishing. While steps have been made to improve security, the best defense against phishing is training and awareness.

As countermeasures are developed, phishing attacks become more sophisticated. For better or worse, you have to always plan like your business is under attack. You are a target for every hacker and scammer on the planet.

5. Password Management

This area of cybersecurity often comes down to procedures and policies. It is important to require employees to change their passwords often, but that alone isn’t enough. You need to make sure they understand how important keeping their password secret is.

There are many ways that hackers and scammers go about discovering weaknesses in cybersecurity. The more complicated and non-standard a password is, the more chance you have of it surviving an attack.

Two-factor authentication works great, but it needs to be part of the solution, not the entire solution. One of the best cybersecurity tips you can receive is never to use the same password for more than one account. Don’t reuse passwords, and make sure they include capital letters, numbers, and symbols.

6. Back up Data

Not all attacks result in a data breach. Some actors are more destructive than malicious. Viruses and other malware can destroy sensitive data. One of the best ways you can protect yourself is to back up all the data you have.

This accomplishes two things. First, it prevents a catastrophic loss of operational data that could destroy your advantage. Second, it allows you to have a fallback point for your servers and computers to go back to.

Cybersecurity involves avoiding attacks, but it also means being able to survive one. Never put your entire business at risk, always maintain contingency options.

7. Wi-Fi and Remote Workers

This applies to businesses that have remote workers or ones where information gets taken home. The security of home wifi systems is integral to protecting your business. Train and remind your staff that they should be changing their passwords at home as well as in the office.

For remote workers, the need for this is obvious, but it is easy to forget. Building a culture of cybersecurity awareness is a key to success. With so many threats present and so many ways of exploiting any vulnerability, constant vigilance is the only shield.

You may also need to take the step of restricting what information can leave the building. This will prevent anything sensitive from exposure to security threats.

Cybersecurity Tips

The threat of a cyber attack is always present and will always be present. The best way to prevent an attack is to remain aware of the risks and the most common tactics employed.

Be Structured is leading provider of Los Angeles IT support, and we can help provide the IT solutions your business needs. Be Structured has been around since 2007 and our employees have many years of IT experience.

Cybersecurity tips are helpful, but if you want to take your security to the next level, contact Be Structured today!

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.