You have a lot on your plate when you’re a small business owner; there are just so many tasks that have to be taken care of.
And while you’d hope that everyone who interacted with your business would leave a positive impact, there’s always a chance that someone with more nefarious motivations could target your organization.
While all small businesses know that they have to protect their physical assets, not all take the necessary steps to protect their digital assets. Cyber crime has been steadily on the rise in recent years, and today it poses one of the top threats to businesses, especially small businesses.
Smaller operations are more likely to be targeted by cyber criminals; 58% of cyber crime victims are small businesses, after all. However, while the threat of cyber crime is real, it’s important to remember that small businesses don’t need to just hope that they won’t be targeted.
There are things they can do that will greatly decrease their chances of becoming a victim. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most effective ways to nullify the threat of cyber attacks, and keep your employees, customers, and your company safe.
1. Partner with an MSP
The most effective method to keep your company safe from cybercriminals is to partner with an MSP, which stands for managed services provider. They can bring a lot of benefits to a business, including boosting productivity and reliability, and, of course, keeping your network secure.
An experienced MSP will be aware of the latest cybersecurity solutions, so they can always keep your business one step ahead of the people that would try to do you harm. They won’t just keep your business safe today, either; they’ll continually upgrade and bolster your network so that it’s in line with the latest standards.
2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
It’s not hard to see how much more secure a door that used two separate keys would be. Someone with bad intentions might get the hold of one key, but without the other, there’s nothing they can do. Multi-factor authentication works in much the same way.
This is a system whereby you will only receive access if you can provide multiple verification items. An example would be to first enter a password and then input a verification code that is sent to the user’s phone, or they may have to answer a secret question to which only they know the answer.
3. Use the Principle of Least Privilege
The more people that are involved in any one system, the more likely it is that there will be a breach. One of the biggest causes of cyber breaches is human error, on the part of an employee. One way to get around this threat is to use the principle of least privilege.
This is the process of only allowing an employee access to the data and systems that they require to do the task that they’re working on. The opposite approach would be to give access to all of your company’s networks, whether they require access or not.
This helps to keep your business safe because if an outsider was to gain access to an employee’s system, they would only be able to access a few areas of your company’s digital footprint, rather than the whole thing.
4. Provide On-Going Training to Your Staff
As we just mentioned, the biggest threat to your businesses may not be the cybercriminals directly, but the employees that inadvertently grant them access to your systems. If the whole organization works together, then you’ll have a formidable fortress that can’t be penetrated.
But all it’ll take is for there to be one crack in the armor, and you’re at risk. You can get around this issue by providing on-going training to your staff.
If they’re kept fully up to date with the latest practices and standards, and more importantly, what they should and shouldn’t do, then you’ll be greatly reducing the risk of having problems.
Given the scale of the threat, it’s important that all small businesses take cyber attacks seriously. The cost of an attack is, on average, $200,000, which is a sum that many small businesses cannot afford to pay.
Work with a managed services provider, and you’ll be protecting yourself against a crime that is becoming increasingly common.