Businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to hackers on the Internet. For a small business, however, expensive cybersecurity tools and software may not be included as part of your budget.
Fortunately, even with a small budget, you can access cybersecurity resources that can help you secure your business. In this post, we’ll discuss various free cybersecurity tools and resources that can help you protect your data and maintain small business continuity.
Password Testing and Management
Weak passwords are one of the main causes of cyber breaches. Hackers have access to sophisticated tools and methods that can help them guess account credentials. With that said, it’s important to set strong and unique passwords for your small business.
There are many free tools that can help you measure the strength of your passwords, including PasswordMeter, How Secure is My Password?, and Security.org. Consider using more than one of these tools to make sure your credentials pass the test.
Two-factor authentication requires a user to validate their identity on more than one device before they can log in. This is a great second line of defense if an attacker discovers your password. There are many free programs that provide two-factor authentication:
- Google 2-Step Verification: If you have a Google account, make sure to setup Google’s 2-Step Verification. This lets users get a code via text message, phone call, or the Google Authenticator app before they can sign in to any Google account.
- Authy: Authy is a full-service application that helps businesses facilitate two-factor authentication across all accounts. You can use this app to stay protected across all devices simultaneously.
Testing Suspicious Files, Websites & Other Sources
During the course of normal business operations, your employees may frequently download applications and tools from the Internet. For a small business to be protected, each employee should take precautions before downloading anything from the Internet. For a small business, checking the safety rating of a URL or file is a great way to determine if a website is unsafe. Here are a few tools that you can use to do this:
- VirusTotal: This site allows users to analyze suspicious files or URL. If a URL or file is labeled as suspicious, it automatically shares with the community.
- Metadefender: This cloud-based tool lets users check any file, URL, or IP address in the click of a button.
File and Email Encryption
Before sending any secure information via email, you should use an encryption tool. Even if your email isn’t compromised, there are various methods hackers can use to access sensitive email information. Here are some popular, free encryption tools:
- Mailvelope: This is an add-on that works across different webmail applications, including Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook
- InfoEncrypt: This is best for one-time encryptions for users who don’t frequently send sensitive information via email
- Microsoft Outlook Encryption: This is Outlook’s built-in functionality that allows users to encrypt important private messages without using an external tool
Virtual private networks (VPN) are an excellent way to create secure connections when browsing the Internet. This is particularly useful if your employees are working remotely. A VPN not only creates a secure connection, but it also makes a user anonymous and hides their information.
There are many different free VPN options for small and medium-sized businesses, including Betternet, Hide.me, and Opera VPN. Express VPN is a great option for users who need high-speed, however this service only offers a free 30-day trial.
By combining all of these available tools, you can build a fairly comprehensive cyber security program to keep your business secure and maintain small business continuity.