Cybersecurity tips for small businesses

“That will never happen to me” is a phrase we often hear from small business owners regarding data hacks. It seems like data hacks are happening all the time, yet many small businesses are declining security measures because of the belief that they are too small of a target for hackers. Unfortunately, the reality is that small businesses are the easiest targets. Why? Because small businesses usually have minimal security and a reasonable amount of data.

Small businesses are at risk when unprepared for a cyber-attack. Hackers can steal employee emails, client data, financial records and all of the information that’s on your server – Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc.

The most common misconception is that small businesses have to put a lot of money into security to be safe from a potential cyber-attack. While implementing security measures does cost money, it doesn’t require as much as you might think.

5 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses to Protect Data from Hackers

  1. Install a business grade firewall
    Secure the network through the firewall as much as possible. By installing firewall protection, you can prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet.
  1. Implement two-factor authentication
    Two-factor authentication verifies user identities with a required temporary passkey generated from a mobile device specific to each authorized user. For example, if your employees work remotely or access your network from outside of your office, two-factor authentication will help keep your data safe because even if credentials were hacked, hackers can’t access your data because they don’t have access to the authorized employee’s phone.
  1. Educate and train your employees
    Your employees should be a major part of your security plan. It’s important to educate them on security standards and prevention so they know how to handle threatening situations. Hire an IT provider to teach your employees basic cybersecurity practices so they know when they’re presented with a threat or vulnerable to intrusion.
  1. Implement mobile device management
    Mobile device management allows you to control your smart phones and tablets through mobile application management, content management, security and device configuration.
  1. Build a security policy
    A true security policy empowers employees and clients to know how to handle threatening situations. Work with a group that is knowledgeable about security and can provide a security plan for overall IT support.

Establishing your business’ security plan is crucial, and choosing the right IT partner can make the process much more seamless. Some IT providers often fail to address security because they become complacent and forget to take temperature checks to make sure everything is operating optimally. The problem here is that what took to secure your business one year ago is considerably different today. It’s important that your IT provider is well-versed on the latest developments to maintain ongoing security and keep your company educated.

At KLH, we discuss security in annual reviews with our clients and offer security reviews as an additional solution available to everyone. Some features are automatically included, such as firewall protection and anti-virus. However, we believe taking a full security approach and implementing the five tips we listed will better defend your business against cyber-attacks.

It’s important to speak with a trusted IT partner to determine which security investment is appropriate for your organization. You can contact us at (952) 258-8200 or online to speak with us about security and how to make the right choice for your organization.