hacker and cyber security tips for small business

4 Crucial Cybersecurity Tips for Small Business Owners for 2021

4 Crucial Cybersecurity Tips That Every Business Owner Must Follow for 2021

We’ve selected our top 4 cybersecurity tips for small businesses for 2021. Why? Cybersecurity or online information security is no longer a concern just for big corporations in these years of pandemics and working from home.

Every individual, business entity, and internet use is susceptible to malicious attacks online. This could result in damage to hardware, electronic data, and software. According to NASDAQ-listed Proofpoint, over 88 percent of the organizations across the world were battling phishing attacks in 2019. And data breaches in the first half of 2020 exposed over 36 billion records.

What is in store for your small business in 2021?

These alarming numbers have given rise to a whole new industry of cybersecurity experts worldwide.

Market research and human resource experts believe that there would be over 3.5 million jobs for network security professionals in the next few years as businesses would be eager to invest in information security and data protection. And why not, the increasing cyber threats make it important for businesses to invest in a robust data security system.

It would prevent you from losing a fortune and protect your customer’s data plus ensure that your business does not run into trouble with the law. Here are four cybersecurity tips for small business for 2021 (and even for medium to large business) that you as a business owner should follow to avoid online scams, attacks, and threats.

1. Secure Your Network

cyber security awareness tips include to look for https

Cyber security awareness tips include to look for a secure network as indicated by https in the URL and a padlock symbol in the browser.

The first step to ensuring that your organization is safe from phishing, data breaches, and hacks ensures you have a secure network. You could do this by encrypting all the information and using a firewall.

While organizations were operating from fixed office spaces, it was easier for the IT team to ensure that everyone was connected to a secure network. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the new normal working from home, it is impossible to detect if employees connect from unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Hiring a professional cyber securities team would help you monitor your team’s connections from anywhere and restrict access if the connection is unsecured. However, make sure the service provider has an HTTPS website like https://www.haycorsolutions.ca/ and not an http as the data you key into an HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure site is as the name suggests secure.

It ensures that the data you transfer online and share with your users, employees, and customers is secure.

It is important to ensure that every communication that you have over a computer network is with websites that use an HTTPS network and not HTTP. This would prevent any possible compromise of data in the future.

2. Educate Your Employees – key Cybersecurity tip for small businesses

This is one of the key cybersecurity tips for small businesses – to help employees be part of the solution.

According to recent research published on IBM, over 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches result from human error. In other words, out of 20 cybersecurity compromises, around 19 could have been easily avoided. This means that your employees’ negligence, oversight, or ignorance could lead to a data breach at your workplace.

However, you could avoid all this by investing in training your employees on cybersecurity and data compliance. 

When your employees are trained and aware of all the security risks, you will face fewer financial losses, data threats, and cyber attacks.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to go on a lockdown, employees had to work from home. And this meant that organizations had to let their personnel access information from their home WiFi networks.

Cybersecurity experts believe that remote workers are the primary targets for cybercriminals. And hence, you need to ensure that your employees undergo information security training and follow all the regulatory compliance to prevent data breaches.

3. Data Backup

Online perpetrators cause over 4,000 ransomware attacks annually and result in data loss of over $111,605 in 2019. Another alarming study revealed that an average business ends up footing a cost of $133,000 from a ransomware attack.

laptop for small business running data backup code

With the ‘new normal’ of sending employees home with laptops, data backup at home is also important.

As perpetrators target and steal data before encrypting your system, it is important to have a complete data backup, which will keep your information safe even in a cybersecurity incident. 

For home systems, an easy data backup can be achieved with Windows 10’s built-in File History backup system.

Impact and recovery time

A study found that over 34 percent of the computer users experience a data loss and 77 percent of these users experience a failure in data recovery. And it takes over a week to ten days for organizations to restore data that is lost from a cyber attack.

As a business owner, it is important to invest in a trusted data back service provider to ensure your business does not face the brunt from cyberattacks or accidents.

4. Invest In A VPN

Laptop with vpn for cyber security

To use a VPN is a great security tip for small businesses with employees working from home.

VPN or a virtual private network is one of the most basic cybersecurity tools that your business has to invest in to ensure end-to-end encryption of data.

With working from home becoming the new norm, organizations need to ensure that their employees can log in only through a secured private network while accessing organizational information.

This would prevent unauthorized users from accessing information, protect shared data, and prevent cybercriminals from stealing sensitive data. 

Besides providing strong protection to your identity and information online, it also removes any potential threats to the data you transfer online and prevents you from getting speed throttled. Apart from these, you can avoid any possible licensing issues and geographical restrictions that websites might impose if you are traveling abroad.

While the common misconception is that cybersecurity attacks are usually targeted at big corporations and government organizations, data tells a different story.

Most hackers prefer to break into a cyber network that is not so secured. So, no matter the size of your business, you should ensure that your data is secure. 

Bonus extra Cybersecurity tips for small businesses

Besides the above, you should also ensure that all the passwords used are secure and changed often. It would help if you also had a clear data security policy to ensure that all the stakeholders are aware of and can access when in doubt! Also, it would help if you made it a point to invest in anti-malware software and multifactor identification.

It will also help if your network has strong firewall protection as that would be the first line of defense for all your data. With the help of the tools and resources presented in these cybersecurity tips for small businesses, you can be sure that your business is safe in the online world in 2021.

About The Author

Casey

Casey (Surname withheld for contractual reasons) successfully started his own IT consultancy well over 10 years ago. He started training and mentoring other computer technicians who want to create a part time or full time income as an IT consultant. See the 'About Us' for more.

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