Do you know Gartner has predicted that the global information security market will reach $170.4 billion in 2022? Maybe you are now comfortable with your cybersecurity strategies, but times change. It’s time to reconsider your protection standards to stay ahead of the security threats. We share the following 3 cybersecurity best practices for small business owners to help them keep their businesses secure.
Businesses of all sizes greatly rely on their networks and internet connectivity to conduct business. The internet brings massive business opportunities, but it also brings many risks. Managing these risks is of high importance for small businesses to protect their assets from cyberattacks.
In this era of rapidly expanding knowledge, you can no longer afford to stay unprepared when it comes to cyber-attacks. Small as well as medium-sized businesses are regarded as the engine that powers growth in Switzerland and the whole world. However, many small businesses stay susceptible to cyber attacks.
We at Swiss Cyber Forum see the consequences of cyber security incidents every day on small businesses. In fact, there are a number of best cybersecurity practices to follow.
Problem at the beginning
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, cyber risks could be waiting right around the corner. Many small businesses frame themselves to be “too small” to be of interest to cyber criminals. In reality, businesses can be subject to cyberattacks despite their sizes. According to Hiscox’s “Small Business Cyber Risk Report: 2018”, 66% of small businesses were extremely concerned about cyber security risk. Only 16% of small businesses were very confident in their cyber security readiness.
Cybersecurity may seem overwhelmingly complex for small business owners. Small businesses are a growing target for cyber criminals, so it’s crucial for them to be aware of the best cybersecurity practices. Simply put, as a small business owner you have to remain prepared for cyber attacks.
Business impacts of security threats
Being aware of some cybersecurity basics will help you protect your business and eventually minimize the risk of a cyberattack. First of all, you have to know that your IT-based services and corporate data are at risk. Information security must be a key priority for small businesses, as the reliance on and complex nature of technology grows consistently.
There are many ways in which a cyberattack can have a negative effect on your business, including reputational damage, regulatory fines, loss of customers, decrease in revenue and etc. Briefly, cyber threat is a real concern for small businesses. For this reason, they must be aware of cybersecurity best practices in 2020.
3 Cybersecurity Best Practices
Not only are the business impacts huge, but there are a number of challenges to overcome. That being said, we are going to share 3 cyber security best practices. It’s true that cybersecurity practices always change with the market. Still, if done correctly, these strategies will deliver effective results and improve your small business cybersecurity today.
1. Train your employees
Your employees are the greatest security risk and the most common cause of data breaches. Employees’ risky behaviours on the internet are responsible for many cyberattacks. These attacks are also representing a considerable cause of the increase of successful cyberattack. Unfortunately, the security awareness field is still very immature. Because many small businesses view cybersecurity as just an IT problem which is a dangerous misconception.
As a small business owner, it must be your responsibility to train your employees to remove the weakest link. So, it’s advisable to consult with a training specialist on a security awareness program. Because industry specialists can detect the pain points and provide your employees with the knowledge to stop threats before they impact the business. We believe that employee education on cyber security is only achieved through well-designed training content and delivery methods, deployed on a repeating basis.
Finally, cyber security awareness is not a technical solution, it is rather a human solution. It means that you have to engage and collaborate with others, and that obviously takes time.
2. Perform a cyber security risk analysis
Secondly, performing a risk analysis helps your business identify, manage, and secure information that could be vulnerable to a cyber attack. This analysis helps you identify resources, ascertain the risk, and build a plan for security controls that can help protect your company. Identifying security threats and working on mitigating them has the potential to prevent or reduce security incidents. Doing so is going to save you money or reputational damage in the long-run. Moreover, knowing organizational vulnerabilities presents you a better idea of where your organization needs to focus on.
Being aware of the potential security threats will help you and your business to remain prepared. If you don’t carefully evaluate your cyber risks, they can’t be managed properly. This means that your company could be exposed to several security threats. Of course, it isn’t possible for any business to be 100% secure, but it’s fully possible to manage and reduce the impacts of cyber threats.
3. Security by Design
One of the most common reasons for failures in computers is actually the lack of implementing security tools, especially antivirus software. The essential purpose of this software is to detect, neutralize or eliminate malware from computers or devices before the system becomes hacked. Basically, antivirus software is the “policeman” at the door of a computer system. It safeguards your device from incoming threats and warns of potential threats to the system.
New virus threats come out every day from all across the world. As soon as they are detected, security companies include them in their signature databases to effectively secure users’ computers and devices connected to the Internet.
Given that, not having anti-virus on your device is like having an “uninvited guest”. To be safe from the cyber threats it is important to police the device and have it protected at all times. Finally, you should not underestimate the importance of antivirus software.
Final thoughts on cybersecurity best practices
Corporate data is more vulnerable than ever before. Following the best cybersecurity practices goes beyond deploying the latest technology. It starts with your employees. Cyber security landscape is changing consistently and criminals get more advanced every day.
To protect your business, it’s vital that all your employees make cyber security a top priority. Having the necessary knowledge, like the top 3 cybersecurity practices we shared, can make your business secure.