As a small business owner, you know the importance of preparing for the unexpected. As cyberattacks become increasingly common, cybersecurity preparedness should be top of mind for all small business owners going into 2021.
By taking a fresh look at your approach to cybersecurity, you can feel confident that your organization will maintain business continuity even through unexpected breaches or disruptions.
Here are some simple steps you can take to increase the cyber security of your small business Internet and network:
1. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires a user to provide more than one piece of information to log-in to a system. For example, if an employee is logging into their email account, they will be required to enter their password and also enter a code sent to their mobile device before receiving access. By requiring another form of verification, even if your password is hacked, a cybercriminal will be unable to enter the system and move within your small business Internet network.
2. Adopt a Passphrase Over a Password Policy
It is best practice to adopt a passphrase with at least 16 characters, rather than a traditional password. The phrase doesn’t need to be complex. It should just consist of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Passphrases should only be used for work-related accounts and should not be used for personal accounts as well to reduce risk.
3. Require Employees to Lock Their Computers When Not in Use
Employees should make sure to lock their computers when they are not being used. To make sure this happens, you can change your administrative settings to require all computers to lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
4. Do Not Allow USB Devices to be Inserted into Company Computers
Cybercriminals often use USB flash drives to gain access to a business’s system and/or network. For instance, a hacker may intentionally leave USB flash drives in office areas where they may be noticed and picked up. If anyone in the business inserts the device into their computer, the entire system may be compromised. For this reason, businesses should adopt a company-wide policy to restrict the use of USB devices.
5. Review and Update Firewall Configurations
Firewalls are typically the first line of defense to keep small business Internet networks and devices safe. However, if your firewall has not been configured recently, there may be security holes within it. With that said, businesses should regularly review firewall configurations to ensure they are up to date.
6. Conduct a Business Continuity Assessment and Cybersecurity Assessment
An Internet backup failure after a cyberattack could be detrimental to a company’s ability to continue or resume operations. Take time to conduct a business continuity assessment so you can identify potential issues in advance of a security breach or other unexpected event. This type of assessment can identify risks within a company’s systems before it’s too late.
By following any or all of the tactics described above, you can help secure your network and protect your business against cybercriminals.