According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 30 percent of all businesses remain open beyond ten years. Today, nearly 30 percent of American business is performed online. This is a trend that has been growing over the past twenty years and shows no signs of slowing down. The online business world brings with it loads of opportunity but also loads of risk.
One of the best ways for a small business to minimize the likelihood of falling victim to online crime is to invest in a clearly delineated security structure. Keeping its intellectual property and all other online interests safe and sound also helps to ensure the business’s longevity because its focus can be on brand development, growth and profitability.
Provide Firewall Security for Your Internet
A firewall is a set of related programs that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Network firewalls are essential for businesses because they prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information and disrupting business operations.
Firewalls provide advanced security and privacy from vulnerable services. Firewalls also provide more reliable response times and can handle more traffic loads. Deployed alongside companion IT security solutions, they help to block trojan attacks,while discouraging hackers and other intruders from entering the company’s infrastructure and halting keyloggers.
Train Employees in Cybersecurity
The more computers and devices that are connected to your business’s network, the greater the risk of experiencing malware. Each and every device goes on its own cyber journey and each has the potential to carry a trojan horse or any other type of malware into the server infrastructure. Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, like strong passwords that are routinely changed and establish appropriate Internet usage guidelines.
It’s also important to help your employees understand how interconnected the company is when it comes to the internet. The undesirable network activity that your firewall will try to block is most likely going to find its way into the company’s network through phishing emails that are addressed to your employees. Their mishandling of such emails can put the whole company at risk.
Keep Your Cybersecurity Up-to-Date
You might notice how devices tend to update their software automatically when programmed to do so. One of the things that computers and other devices can do is to automatically install security updates, thus protecting you from exploitation by cybercriminals. Devices often contain security patches and the newest security features. Patches are important because they fix flaws in products that attackers can use to compromise those devices.
For example, CMMC compliance is a requirement for all contractors and subcontractors who are seeking to do business with the Department of Defense. It is how United States defense contractors protect themselves against sophisticated cyber threats. These kinds of government-level cybersecurity compliance initiatives insist that anybody engaging with the government’s servers and networks be in a constant state of vigilance.
Create a Plan for Mobile Devices
Mobile devices can present significant security and management challenges. Indeed, some hold confidential information or can access the company’s network. Employees who are using mobile devices should be required to password-protect their devices, encrypt their data and install security apps to prevent criminals from accessing information while the device is on the public network. A business might also mandate reporting procedures for lost or mobile devices.
Secure Your WiFi Networks
WiFi is a huge boost to efficiency and productivity because it allows access to your company’s secure high-speed internet connection from anywhere in the office. When hackers gain access to your local network, they can easily access personal data by ‘listening in’ on internet traffic.
Businesses that employ WiFi networks should make sure that they are secure, encrypted and hidden. Securing guest WiFi for business visitors, for instance, will maximize when they are connected to your network. In this way, you can discourage man-in-the-middle attacks and malware downloads and protect against phishing attacks. By providing secure guest internet access, you can also reduce your legal liability.Small business owners are subject to myriad issues that they can neither predict nor control in the marketplace and in the business world. When nearly three-quarters of all small businesses close their doors within ten years, small business owners benefit from taking control of their cyber-protection. That so much of today’s business is performed online means that there are unsavory virtual elements looking to steal and grift your company’s data and they must be protected against. Mitigating the risk of data theft, deletion or corruption depends on your business taking control of your cybersecurity structure.