How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cybersecurity Threats

April 3, 2023
69 / 100

How to Keep Your Business Safe From Cybersecurity Threats

Find more business software and technology tips at Leadership Girl.

Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses big and small. Every year brings a new record number of cyber attacks and by 2025, cybercrime is predicted (https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2021/03/02/alarming-cybersecurity-stats——-what-you-need-to-know-for-2021/?sh=12158d1d58d3) to cost the global economy $10.5 trillion annually.

Despite these alarming statistics, many entrepreneurs fail to consider cybersecurity until they suffer a breach. And many of them will: 28% of data breaches in 2020 involved small businesses, according to a recent report (https://smallbiztrends.com/2020/05/small-business-data-breaches-2020.html).

Small businesses and startups may lack the resources of larger enterprises. However, there’s still a lot that new businesses can do to secure their data. These are the key cybersecurity measures every business should take.

Network Security for Small Businesses

Cybersecurity starts with securing your network. Network security prevents unauthorized users from accessing a business’s network. Businesses accomplish this using a combination of several technologies.

Firewalls
Firewalls use IP addresses to monitor incoming requests to a network. Open-access firewalls allow all users except those that are explicitly blocked, while closed-access firewalls block all traffic (https://www.hostpapa.com/blog/security/why-your-small-business-needs-a-firewall/) that isn’t expressly permitted. Closed-access firewalls are necessary to protect back-end data and cloud environments.

Antivirus
Many firewall tools also include antivirus protection. Antivirus software blocks malicious threats including viruses, malware, and ransomware from infecting your network.

Endpoint security
An endpoint is any device that connects to a network, including servers, computers, smartphones, and Internet of Things devices. Every endpoint in a network represents a potential vulnerability (https://blog.avast.com/endpoint-protection-without-it-department). Endpoint protection secures individual endpoints using encryption, antivirus, email filtering, and other security elements.

Virtual private networks
Virtual private networks send encrypted data to a dedicated endpoint server. VPNs allow businesses to accommodate remote workers without weakening firewall configurations.

Password management
Network security is pointless without strong password management. That includes password-protecting WiFi networks, implementing a password policy, and restricting data access to only the necessary users. Many companies use password managers (https://www.leadershipgirl.com/four-tips-for-introducing-new-tech-to-your-company/) to enforce a strong password policy.

The Importance of Cybersecurity Education
The human element is the weakest link in any cybersecurity plan. According to research, careless or uninformed staff contribute to nearly half of all cybersecurity attacks. This is a particular concern for businesses with a bring-your-own-device policy.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that staff training (https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/the-human-factor-in-it-security/) is a top priority for business managers, second only to upgrading IT security software. Cybersecurity training should cover topics including:
How to manage, classify, and store company data.
Why and how to update software and hardware, particularly antivirus software.
Password security best practices.
How to practice safe internet habits.
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.
Cybersecurity for remote workers, including when and how to use a VPN.
Physical security controls and clean desk policies.
How to spot malicious activity, including phishing scams, unknown links, unsolicited email attachments, spoofed domains, and malicious removable media.
What to do in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

Creating a Cybersecurity Response Plan
It’s important to train employees on how to respond to a cybersecurity event because research shows that uninformed employees are more likely to hide what happened. This allows breaches to carry on undetected, escalating the impact and cost of a cyber attack. Companies should establish a process by which employees can easily notify their manager, HR, and IT of security events.

Learning about a data breach is only the first step (https://blog.infoarmor.com/employers/how-to-create-an-employee-data-breach-response-plan-for-hr). Businesses also need a comprehensive cybersecurity recovery plan. A data breach response plan should include:
Assembling a data breach response team with representatives in IT, HR, legal, public relations, and executive leadership.
Gathering information on a cyberattack, including what caused it, when it occurred, and what types of data were compromised.
Notifying affected parties and establishing a process for addressing questions and concerns.
Tactics for recovering data quickly to minimize disruption to normal business operations and reduce the costs of a breach.

Backup and Recovery Practices to Reduce Downtime
This last step is especially important. Most business processes can only handle four hours or less downtime before causing significant damage. The longer a business’s systems are down, the less likely it is to recover from a data breach. Yet many small businesses store data backups at physical sites that take precious time to access.

Off-site physical backups are important, but they shouldn’t be a business’s first choice for disaster recovery. Not only are they less accessible than the alternatives, but physical backups are prone to missing critical updates and growing obsolete.

Rather than rely on a single backup approach, businesses should use both physical backups and cloud-based solutions (https://www.leadershipgirl.com/5-tips-to-adopt-a-cloud-native-strategy-to-maintain-business-success/). Cloud-based backup services automatically backup data and improve flexibility and response times in the event of a breach.

The most effective data recovery plans pair robust backups with automated, cross-platform data recovery. Data recovery services ensure data availability across all business environments so your business gets back online faster. It’s not enough to establish a recovery plan, however. Companies should routinely test data recovery processes to ensure they’re able to restore high-priority applications in accordance with objectives.

Do Businesses Need Cybersecurity Insurance?
Some companies choose to purchase cyber liability insurance to protect against the economic consequences of data breaches, but is cybersecurity insurance really a necessity for modern businesses?

Entrepreneurs should look to the numbers (https://www.fisherphillips.com/news-insights/employment-privacy-blog/cybersecurity-insurance-does-our-business-need-it.html) to answer this question: One study, for example, found that 20% of U.S. businesses that suffered a data breach spent over $50,000 and 7% spent more than $100,000 to resolve damages. If that’s not a cost a business can weather, cybersecurity insurance may be a wise investment.

A typical cybersecurity insurance plan covers expenses related to lost business revenue, data loss and recovery, legal expenses, call center services and compliance with data breach notification laws.

These benefits limit a business’s exposure to the economic threats of cybercrime. However, they can’t prevent the hit to a business’s reputation and relationships following a data breach. Even with insurance, businesses need a robust disaster response and recovery plan to get back online quickly.

No matter a company’s size, cybersecurity needs to be a key part of its business objectives. Without a proactive approach to cybersecurity, it’s only a matter of time before a business is impacted by a data breach — and for businesses without a plan, there’s often no bouncing back. As the threat of cybercrime grows greater by the year, make sure your business is protected and prepared.

Categories

More Posts:

Elements That Should Be Part of Your Company Retreat

A company retreat is an excellent opportunity for team-building, learning new skills, and fostering relationships between colleagues. Whether your team is large or small, a well-planned retreat can be an invaluable investment in your company's success. We will explore...

How to Make Employee Health a Priority

Prioritizing employee health is crucial for creating a healthy and productive work environment. By investing in the health and wellbeing of your employees, you can improve morale, reduce absenteeism, and build a positive company culture. Here are some tips on how to...

How to Create a Professional Image When Building Your Brand

First impressions matter, especially in business. So, let's explore how to create an image that sparks trust, admiration, and success. Dive into the depths of brand-building with determination and drive, blossoming into a professional powerhouse.  Build a Positive...

Why Companies No Longer Give Workers a Pension

Pensions would seem to be a thing of the past. You may hear an older person talk about getting their pension, but it’s not anything almost anyone these days can access. They used to be fairly commonplace, however, so what changed? Why do companies not offer their...

Signs it’s Time to Find a New Office Space

For any business owner, their office space is an essential aspect of success. It's the place where you and your team devote countless hours a day working alongside clients or partners. In some cases, it may be time to relocate to a different workspace. Here are...

Why Now is the Time to Make Your Office Green

Going green has never been more opportune! Now that environmental issues and our contributions to climate change are gaining international recognition, businesses across the world have begun shifting their practices toward sustainability. If you're contemplating...

Ideas for Setting Up a Non-Profit Organization

Have you always had the desire to make a bigger impact on others, particularly on underrepresented and underserved communities? One great way to do this is to set up a successful non-profit organization.  Here are a few ideas for setting up a non-profit organization. ...

Why Your Business Should Offer HSA-Compatible Health Plans

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to taking care of your employees. If you offer good benefits, such as healthcare, you’ll be more likely to hire and maintain the best employees.  Here are a few reasons why your business should...

When it’s Time to Hire an HR Professional for Your Company

As your business continues to expand, it might be a wise decision to employ an HR specialist who can help you manage and optimize your workforce. An HR expert brings with them essential services that will streamline the operations of your company while keeping your...

Why Your Office Needs High-Quality Chairs

For any business or organization, the right office furniture is vital. Quality chairs are essential and can help bolster productivity, decrease employee health issues, and remain operable longer than budget substitutes. Investing in quality office chairs provides...
Elements That Should Be Part of Your Company Retreat

Elements That Should Be Part of Your Company Retreat

A company retreat is an excellent opportunity for team-building, learning new skills, and fostering relationships between colleagues. Whether your team is large or small, a well-planned retreat can be an invaluable investment in your company's success. We will explore...

How to Make Employee Health a Priority

How to Make Employee Health a Priority

Prioritizing employee health is crucial for creating a healthy and productive work environment. By investing in the health and wellbeing of your employees, you can improve morale, reduce absenteeism, and build a positive company culture. Here are some tips on how to...

Why Now is the Time to Make Your Office Green

Why Now is the Time to Make Your Office Green

Going green has never been more opportune! Now that environmental issues and our contributions to climate change are gaining international recognition, businesses across the world have begun shifting their practices toward sustainability. If you're contemplating...

Ideas for Setting Up a Non-Profit Organization

Ideas for Setting Up a Non-Profit Organization

Have you always had the desire to make a bigger impact on others, particularly on underrepresented and underserved communities? One great way to do this is to set up a successful non-profit organization.  Here are a few ideas for setting up a non-profit organization. ...

All Categories

Business Operations

Entrepreneur Interviews

Marketing, Networking, & Social Media

Self Care & Personal Development

Working Moms

Business Software and Technology

Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Organizing Tips

Sales

Career Building

Family Businesses

Inspiration

Starting Your Own Business

Work-Life Balance

Communication

Hiring Help

Management & Leadership

Time Management & Priorities

Women in Leadership

Recent Posts

Elements That Should Be Part of Your Company Retreat

Elements That Should Be Part of Your Company Retreat

A company retreat is an excellent opportunity for team-building, learning new skills, and fostering relationships between colleagues. Whether your team is large or small, a well-planned retreat can be an invaluable investment in your company's success. We will explore...

How to Make Employee Health a Priority

How to Make Employee Health a Priority

Prioritizing employee health is crucial for creating a healthy and productive work environment. By investing in the health and wellbeing of your employees, you can improve morale, reduce absenteeism, and build a positive company culture. Here are some tips on how to...

Why You Should Run Your Business on the Latest Technology

Why You Should Run Your Business on the Latest Technology

In today's fast-paced business environment, keeping up with technological advancements is essential for success. Implementing the latest technology can offer numerous benefits, such as improved productivity, enhanced data security, and reduced costs.  Improve...

What are local links and how to earn them

What are local links and how to earn them

What local links are and how they might assist local businesses develop an efficient SEO strategy are covered in this article. Local links allow visitors to learn more about a region and its businesses by connecting websites from the same area that are relevant to one another. They must be pertinent to the neighbourhood and offer valuable resources or information. Content marketing, reviews, sponsored content, social media, and directories are all ways to generate local links.

Ways for Increasing Property Management Lead Generation

Ways for Increasing Property Management Lead Generation

Property management is not a simple job, there are multiple tasks that a property manager should complete for various property investors. Marketing is one of the difficult parts, but it’s crucial. You can only attract tenants to your property and gain income after you have generated leads. Therefore, you should try your best to come up with smart and effective strategies to get your company known.