Whether you plan to launch your first company soon or you are a well-established business owner, cybersecurity should mean a great deal to you. Criminals love to target small companies because they are less likely to have stringent security systems and protocols in place.
Even if you are operating with limited resources, you must evaluate how much you stand to lose if you were to suffer an attack. Sure, you may not be able to afford the same world-class protection as the corporate giants (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, Costco, etc.). But you can take practical, budget-friendly steps to protect your enterprise.
From investing in anti-virus software to limiting employee access, Paraben Corporation presents five ways to safeguard your small business against cybercrime:
1. Find the Right Software
Perhaps the most practical precaution you can take is researching the various cybersecurity software tools on the market. For example, all of your computers and other devices should use anti-malware and anti-virus software, even the devices used by remote employees. And you should regularly update the software.
Another key to network security is installing a firewall, which serves as your first line of defense. Most operating systems already have a software firewall, but investing in a more advanced version for your company devices could prove well worth it. You can also install a hardware firewall to protect all workplace devices that share a network, though it will not function on your remote workers’ devices.
2. Keep Software Up to Date
As previously mentioned, it’s critical to keep all of your security software up to date. Because the notifications can sometimes get annoying, many business owners and team members overlook or procrastinate updating their software.
However, anytime a software or operating system update is available, make sure you perform the update so that you will know you have the newest version available. Hackers are constantly working to find ways around the most recent security technology, and updates are how security companies stay a step ahead.
3. Establish Simple Protocols
Before you get too deep into the process of building your company’s cyber fortress, take time to develop protocols. For example, all of your employees should create strong, complex passwords for all of their accounts and devices and regularly change them. Each password should have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers.
As you start to add company best practices for cybersecurity, document your protection policies. You should email a copy of your plan to the entire staff and make it accessible in a common area for everyone to see. Moreover, regularly meet with your team members to review your policies and answer questions.
In addition to these certifications are other skills that are needed to ensure you are successful in the field. These include good written and verbal communication, and problem-solving. It does not matter if you work in the public or private sector you will be presenting the details of your findings to someone for review. Having the ability to express potentially very technical data to a non-technical audience is a skill and it requires good written and verbal communication. The ability to be concise and precise can ensure that your investigative objective is clearly stated to all the parties involved. In addition, the ability to problem solve is one of the core needs of every digital forensic investigator. Reviewing data that has been used and worked through requires the ability to think through solutions. It is rare that everything goes well in the different steps of the digital forensic process. Being able to think on your feet and work through the process and document your solutions is all part of the digital forensic process.
4. Consider Your Mobile Devices
Chances are, some of your employees are using personal devices in the workplace. Those devices must remain secure, primarily if they are ever used to access company or customer data. All your employees’ devices should use a virtual private network (VPN) to add a protective layer when accessing business materials on open Wi-Fi networks.
5. Call Professionals
Finally, consider hiring cybersecurity professionals to protect your company and customer data. Even if you don’t have an in-house security team, you can safeguard your small business against cyberattacks by bringing in outside experts.
No matter how small your company is, you are susceptible to a wide range of cyberattacks. And you don’t have to have all the resources of a giant corporation to add layers of protection for your company and customers.
Remember to find quality security software for your devices and networks and keep them up to date. Put in place simple, effective protocols for your staff, and remember to protect all personal devices used to access business materials. And don’t hesitate to reach out to cybersecurity professionals who can help build your fortress!
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