Small business owners tend to think they don’t need powerful network security because cyber criminals only attack the big guys. But that’s not true.
Cyber criminals like to attack small businesses to commit a variety of nefarious acts, such as emptying out business accounts. One reason they like to attack small businesses is because of the lack of cyber security protecting their businesses accounts, emails, and other critical business information.
While small businesses don’t have the luxury of hiring the large IT security teams and resources that large enterprises can afford, they still need to be just as secure. A great place to start securing your small business is making sure you are following these five cyber security rules.
Rule 1 — Deploy Security Basics
When it comes to network security, small businesses need to think like big businesses. In particular, they need to start with the basic by creating and following rigorous guidelines for keeping their systems and data safe including:
- Install firewalls for wireless and wired-based access points
- Install anti-malware on endpoints and servers
- Install spam filters to keep out phishing emails
- Install white-listing to prevent computer software downloads
- Install patch updates as they are issued for all operating systems and applications
Rule 2 — Keep Your System Backups Up-to-Date
There are many events that can damage your data, including a malware intrusion, outside cyber thieves getting into your systems, unscrupulous employees who want to do harm, and acts of God, like floods, fires, and earthquakes. That’s way a critical security step for your disaster recovery is scheduled backups of your systems and data.
Rule 3 — Train Employees About Cybersecurity
Training employees to prevent cyber breaches is typically one of the most overlooked aspects of cyber security. Yet, a large percent of security risks occur from employee neglect, such as clicking on a spammy link or sharing their passwords. Create policies that clearly define how employees are expected to behave online, how data is to be shared, and how to be aware of email spam. To ensure compliance, have employees read your policies and sign them. To encourage compliance with your guidelines, you could even exact penalties for non-compliance.
Rule 4 — Establish a Mobile Device Policy
The era of mobile smartphones and tablets has changed everything in today’s business world. As a result, companies need security policies that not only include their own computer systems, but also any mobile devices that access their systems, applications, and data. This means balancing the security needs of the business with the personal data usage of the individuals, who owns the device.
Rule 5 — Protect Your Data Wherever it Resides
This rule begins with knowing where all of your data resides. This includes desktop computers, mobile computers, servers, cloud services, and mobile devices. Then you need to put security controls in place to secure all of the data. Also, don’t forget about your data when you dispose of old computers and other devices. Remove the hard disks and destroy them. This also goes for old-school paper documents that contain sensitive information as well. Shred them and dispose of them appropriately.
Keeping your business, systems, and data secure may seem like a big job for a small business, but if you don’t you’ll face even bigger problems if anything goes wrong. You can gain the security of big company without the expense by hiring a professional IT outsourcing partner — who will ensure you’re always following all of the rules for a healthy network.
The IT pros at Gulf South Technology Solutions can help you implement the best network security plan for your business and keep it safe from all security challenges.