5 Ways to Keep Your Small Business Digitally Protected

Unlike huge government entities and Fortune 500 companies, many small businesses feel that they’re safe from being targeted by hackers. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. According to the U.S. government, around 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses. The reason for this is because of how small businesses often neglect cybersecurity, thinking that they’re not big enough of a target compared to larger companies. Given this alarming statistic, how can you ensure that your small business is safe from today’s skilled hackers?

Get a Cybersecurity Professional on Your Team

There’s no better way to keep your business digitally protected than to hire a dedicated cybersecurity professional. This is something that any responsible business owner will agree with. In fact, from 2013 to 2019 the demand for online cybersecurity degree holders specializing in cyber defense almost doubled in the US – growing three times as much compared to other IT roles. And globally, this growing demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals who have studied the topic at degree level has resulted in 3 million unfilled job openings for crucial security positions. “Cybersecurity is one of the vital new professions that grows exponentially and surprises everyone,” details Global Industry Analyst Josh Bersin. “Cyber is not only a new, multi-disciplinary career, it also demands a constellation of skills – making it critical for companies to develop this expertise internally as well as search externally.”

Develop and Enforce a Cybersecurity Program

With a cybersecurity professional on your team, it will be easier to develop and enforce a strong digital defense program or strategy for your whole company. This program should include but must not be limited to ensuring the secure use of any and all devices pertinent to doing business, instilling secure digital practices throughout all staff levels, and updating company-wide security practices to reflect the current needs. Having a single program with which you can enforce all this unifies everyone in the company for the purpose of digital defense.

Take Password Hygiene Seriously

“There’s a case to be made that this is the single largest problem in all of data security,” says Proofpoint’s executive vice president of cybersecurity strategy Ryan Kalember. “A good attacker won’t hack in; they’ll log in.” This is why it’s important to not only use strong and complicated passwords, but to also have different passwords for different accounts and purposes. In fact, consistent and proper password hygiene should be practiced company-wide, and should be a key part of your company’s cybersecurity program. The harder it is for any unauthorized person to get your login credentials, the better.

Always Practice Multi-Factor Authentication

This simply means relying on more than just one layer of security to access sensitive company data which may be valuable to hackers. Crafting strong passwords and frequently resetting them is just one part of the equation. The more sensitive the data, the more you should add on digital security layers such as requiring a PIN number, password encryption, and even fingerprint authentication. Nowadays, it’s easier to apply biometric security layers for protection given how smartphones are capable of facial recognition. Use the available technologies at hand to apply multi-factor authentication to your valuable business data.

Keep Your Eyes on the News

Keeping your eyes peeled for the latest news in the world of IT and cybersecurity can keep your internal digital security team well aware of the most pressing cyber threats. Consult your internal cybersecurity expert about how you can keep your security program updated in order to ensure company-wide response to pertinent security issues. The more you know about the latest attacks, possible entry points, and hacking methods, the better you can ensure the overall digital defense of your business.

 

written for comparison.com

by Richelle Jayne

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