Cybercrime is rising globally at an exponential rate, and while large enterprises may have sufficient resources to boost cybersecurity, many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) do not.
In a world that's increasingly digital, it's more important than ever for small businesses to protect their IT networks and data, especially as attacks become more sophisticated every day. That's why it's essential for small businesses to take steps to boost their cybersecurity. In this article, we'll discuss some simple ways to do just that.
Apply security updates ASAP
Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in software and operating systems (OS). By applying security updates as soon as they become available, you can help protect your business from being exploited. Keep all software up to date, including OSes, applications, and firmware on devices to maintain data and network security. You should also segment your network so that critical systems are isolated from the public internet.
Enable multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to protect your data and IT network from cyberattacks. By requiring more than just a username and password, you can make it much harder for hackers to gain access to your sensitive information. If you're not already using MFA, now is the time to start.
We recommend using an authentication app like Authy or Google Authenticator instead of text messages for additional security. These apps generate one-time codes that can be used to log in to your account. When creating new accounts, always enable MFA whenever possible.
Make password updates mandatory
Making scheduled password updates mandatory for all staff members offers several advantages. First, it's a good way to keep track of who has access to what information. If someone's password expires, they won't be able to access any sensitive data until they update their password. This helps to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to your company's information.
Second, regular password updates help to protect your data in the event that one of your employees' passwords is compromised. By mandating password updates, you can help to limit the damage that can be done in the event of a password breach.
Finally, enforcing password updates is especially important for remote and hybrid workers who use cloud services. These employees may not have the same level of security at home as they do in the office, so it's important to make sure their passwords are up to date. Requiring password updates ensures that your company's data stays safe even when employees are accessing it outside the office.
Enforce the use of VPN
Another simple way to boost your company's cybersecurity is to enforce the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs encrypt your data and protect your information when you're using public Wi-Fi or accessing sensitive information online. They're relatively simple to set up and can be used on office-based, remote, or hybrid employees' devices.
Outsource your IT security
Bringing outside help into your SMB could substantially improve your defenses, and outsourcing your IT security to a local, dependable IT services provider will do exactly that. Managed IT services providers have the tools and experience to secure your network and data from cyberattacks. Plus, they can help you recover quickly if an attack does occur.
Use up-to-date antivirus software
Antivirus software helps to detect and remove malicious software, such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Be sure to keep your antivirus software up to date with the latest definitions so it can effectively detect and remove new threats.
It’s also important to install a firewall, a critical component of any small business's cybersecurity system. Firewalls help block unauthorized access to your network and can help prevent malware from spreading. Also, make sure to configure your firewall properly so it can provide maximum protection for your network.
Teach staff about phishing scams
Fostering a security culture in your company may take a long time, but it is nevertheless essential. Regardless of how you plan to educate staff about cybersecurity, make sure they learn about phishing — what it is, how it spreads, and what the consequences of a successful phishing scam are.
Phishing is a type of cyberattack that uses fraudulent emails or websites to trick users into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers. It's important to educate your employees about phishing scams so they can be on the lookout for suspicious emails and websites. Be sure to provide them with resources, such as phishing awareness training, so they can learn how to identify and report phishing attempts.
USWired’s IT professionals provide a wide range of cybersecurity solutions to businesses in San Jose, San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles County, and surrounding areas. Get a complimentary consultation from our cybersecurity experts to learn how you can boost your business’s IT systems.