A Cost-Effective Guide to Improving Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
No matter the size of your business, hackers and all sorts of cybercriminals are out to steal your data and cause havoc to your digital infrastructure. Indeed, the risks are highest for small businesses, but in a lot of cases the cost of improving cybersecurity capacities can lead to business owners leaving their systems open to vulnerabilities.
Businesses spend thousands of dollars on cybersecurity, leaving small and medium enterprises to make do with what little resources they have to keep themselves protected.
Fortunately, there are ways for small businesses to get around such limitations and strengthen their core protections against cyberintruders.
Here are a few low-cost ways to help your small business thrive in the face of increasing online risks.
1. Implementing stringent security protocols
Effective cybersecurity is not limited to the type of software and hardware your enterprise has. It also has to involve diligence in complying with in-house security rules. Human error can render your enterprise vulnerable to data theft and phishing attacks, so it's important for employees to implement security protocols that involve penalizing unsanctioned usage of company data and requiring authorization for access to hard drives and cloud accounts. These simple rules should help keep data from leaking out and prevent login credentials and information from falling into the wrong hands.
2. Secure your data-sharing infrastructure
Even if you manage a small team, it's still important to keep your communications from being intercepted by third-party entities. For this reason, small businesses should consider setting up a virtual private network to encrypt critical data and ensure confidentiality. While larger companies can spend a great deal on VPNs that have the best features, small businesses can still find VPN services that fit their budgets. Check out InVPN for a list of VPNs that won't cost you much to set up.
3. Assess your security infrastructure
Limited resources should not always be a hindrance to strengthening cybersecurity, but you also need to monitor your system for vulnerabilities and identify areas that you might want to improve. After all, the best protection is possible if you keep a close eye for components that need upgrading. The sooner you update your infrastructure, the more effective you will be at dodging emerging threats that could cost you otherwise.
4. Monitor online activity
How frequently do your employees use social media at work? For sure, connecting to company servers and accessing social media make for a very unsafe practice. Especially if you are using mobile phones that connect to your in-house WiFi, there is always the risk of data leaking out into someone’s social media accounts for hackers and identity thieves to take. What can your small business do to minimize such a risk? For one, you can begin by regulating social media usage and prohibiting employees from accessing their company emails on their mobile phones. As much as possible, every work-related transaction or activity should be limited to company-owned equipment. That way, it’s easier to track where and how company data is being used.
New cyber threats are emerging every year, so you need to equip your business with the tools to fight back and protect sensitive data. The best part is that you don’t have to pay a lot just to secure information that’s essential to your small business as it grows.