5 Important Cyber Security Tips for Small Business Owners

Nathan |

As more and more businesses become more reliant upon the cloud to conduct operations, the need for stringent cyber security becomes prevalent. Without the right measures in place, you may quickly find your network the target for cyber attack.

This isn’t just the case for large corporations, either. Small businesses are just as likely to be targeted by hackers. At the end of the day, data is what these cyber criminals are after, and if yours is easy to access, it likely won’t be long before they gain access.

Thankfully, we have some small tips that can have a big impact on the security of your business’ operations. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Enable proper password management

It seems like a basic one, but you’d be surprised how many businesses just use their company name and postcode or street number as a password for all their systems! Or worse, the age old favourite “admin1234”. If you were to change one thing about your security today, the most important would be to update all of your company passwords – and ensure your employees do the same.
And we’re not just talking about adding a few special characters or capitals. Taking advantage of a platform like LastPass or KeePass is best, and ensuring that passwords aren’t saved to your internet browser for anyone to access will also help to keep your company data secure.

2. Practice safe clicking

Phishing accounts for 90% of data breaches, costing a business on average $3.86 million! Those figures are why it’s absolutely critical that everyone in your company practices safe clicking. This means looking closely before clicking on attachments or links in emails. If it’s unexpected or feels suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. It’s best to speak to the person who ‘sent’ it and save yourself the headache.
And before you convince yourself you wouldn’t fall for a phishing scam – they’ve become far more sophisticated over the years. Around 1.5 million new sites are created each month, and 30% of phishing messages get opened by their targets. When it doubt, don’t click!

3. Monitor your network

Of course, good passwords and safe clicking will only get you so far. If hackers want to get in, and there’s even a small chance that they can, they won’t stop until they’ve found a way. That’s why we always recommend you monitor your network closely. This means ensuring you have all the necessary spam filters, antivirus and firewalls to keep everything secure, and the right alerts to notify you or your IT provider of unusual activity.

4. Backup data regularly

Let’s say the worst happens and your business is hit by a cyber attack that completely wipes out your data. The good news is, if you’re backing up your data regularly, all is not lost. All it takes is a program that regularly autosaves all files on your network and stores copies to ensure there’s no potential risk of losing everything. We recommend making sure the backups are stored in the cloud or in a different location, as hackers will target any local backups as well. What a simple solution for peace of mind.

5. Work with a managed IT services provider that’s got your back

While a lot of these tips can be implemented in-house by you and your employees, if you want to ensure they’re done right, it’s recommended that you work with a company that does this for a living. That’s where we come in. At the IT Department, we care about cyber security and work closely with you to ensure your business’ data is secure at all times.

Interested? Get in touch to speak to one of our cyber security specialists today.