Cybersecurity must be a priority for any entrepreneur or business owner that hopes to start strong and sustain long-term success. Though you have many other aspects of your business to consider, failing to take cybersecurity seriously can hinder you from reaching your goals.
Any computing equipment or system is subject to an array of cyberattacks. Even the largest corporations in the world are not entirely immune from damaging breaches, hacks, and other threats. Many criminals target small businesses because they see it as an easier way to steal data and make money.
If you’re thinking about getting a company off the ground soon, now is the time to learn about cybersecurity and come up with a plan. Executive Strategy Group has given you some practical advice to get started!
Know the Most Common Threats
First of all, it will help to know what cybersecurity threats are most prevalent for small businesses. Perhaps the most common are data breaches, which essentially leave the sensitive company and customer information vulnerable. When criminals break into your system to steal data, they can then sell it on the black market, leading to fraud and identity theft. The most prominent targets for data breaches include businesses that use a website or e-commerce, CRIM, and online support apps.
Ransomware is also prevalent. This type of malware breaks through vulnerable networks to infect computers, phones, and other devices. By encrypting the files on the affected device, users must pay ransom to the criminals to access the files. And, of course, you cannot guarantee that the attackers will restore access upon payment.
Other types of malware to be aware of include adware, viruses, worms, trojans, bots, and spyware. Malware can wreak havoc on your system, network, and business for months.
Change Your Passwords
One of the first steps to bolster your cybersecurity is to require your employees to create strong, complex passwords and change them regularly. Every password for every account and device should include a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. And consider having your team members create new passwords at least every 90 days.
Keep Tabs on Your People
As you build your digital fortress, understand that people are often the weakest link. Human error and lapses are responsible for most security breaches. Mistakes might include clicking on malware links, forgetting to change a compromised password, or neglecting other protocols. If an employee connects their personal smartphone, tablet, or computer to your company network, it can also leave your system vulnerable to attack. Make sure each of your team members is clear on your security policies, and regularly check-in to make sure everyone is following protocol.
Restrict Your Infrastructure Access
Be vigilant about limiting access to your network infrastructure. For example, only allow managers, administrators, and other necessary personnel to access specific accounts. If you let an employee go, be sure to cut off access and change passwords to any accounts they use while working for your company. Moreover, use administration tools and services that allow you to establish user roles, which can go a long way in helping you maintain control over who can do what through your network.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest
Cybersecurity will require you to invest time, money, and resources: don’t hesitate to allocate funds. Look to professionals, software, and tools that can help you protect company and customer data and prevent criminals from breaking into your network or systems. You don’t want to be a small business that suffers devastating consequences because you did not invest in security upfront.
All companies are susceptible to cybercrime. If you don’t take the necessary precautions to protect your business, it could severely hinder your growth, or worse, result in the loss of your business. Consider the information and advice above as you begin to build your digital fortress, and keep researching other layers of protection you can add to your networks and systems.
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about how we have helped hundreds of B2B executives quickly grow their businesses? Visit ExecutiveStrategyGroup.com today!