9 Tips for Cyber Security for Small Businesses

9 Tips for Cyber Security for Small Businesses

The internet is an integral part of business processes that offer chances for enterprises of all kinds and from any place to reach new and larger audiences, as well as the ability to use computer-based tools to work more productively. 

Cybersecurity should be considered in any business plan, whether it involves implementing cloud computing or simply using email, as well as maintaining an inviting website with a reliable security network

Digital information theft has surpassed physical theft as the fraud that receives the most reports. Every company that uses the internet is in charge of developing a network system in the organization that should boost client and customer confidence.

9 Cyber Security Tips for Small Business

Information technology and broadband are significant drivers of productivity and efficiency growth for small firms as they expand into new markets. To counter the escalating network security risks, organizations must have a cybersecurity strategy in place to safeguard their own operations, their clients, and their data.

1. Train staff and inform all employees of cybersecurity principles

Establish fundamental cybersecurity procedures and regulations for staff members, such as mandating strong passwords and acceptable Internet usage standards that spell out the consequences of breaking the organization’s cybersecurity rules. Create guidelines on how you manage and protect customer information and other important data.

2. Secure information, records, computers, and your networks from cyber attacks

Maintain clean computers: The strongest protection against viruses, malware, phishers, and other online threats are the most recent versions of your operating system, web browser, and security software. A scan should be performed following each update of antivirus software. As soon as new updates for other crucial software become available, install them.

3. Employ firewall security to protect your Internet connection

A network firewall security is a group of connected programs that guard against unauthorized access to information on a private network. Check to see if the operating system’s firewall is activated, or install online-available, free firewall software. Make sure any home systems that employees use for work are firewall-protected if they work from home.

4. Store backup copies of critical business records and information

Make regular backups of all computer data. Word processing files, databases, electronic spreadsheets, human resources files, financial files, and accounts receivable/payable files are examples of critical data. Data should be automatically backed up, if at all possible, or at least once a week, and copies should be kept offsite or in the cloud.

5. Regulate physical access to your computers and devices, and create individual user accounts for your employees

Prevent unauthorized users from accessing or using company computers. Locking up laptops when left unattended will prevent theft or loss since they are easy targets. Make sure each employee has their own user account, and insist on using strong passwords. Only important people and trusted IT staff should be granted administrative privileges.

6. Protect your Wi-Fi networks

Make sure your office’s Wi-Fi network is hidden, encrypted, and secure if you have one. Set up your router, so it does not broadcast the network name, sometimes referred to as the Service Set Identifier, in order to conceal your Wi-Fi network (SSID). Secure router access with a password.

7. Employ best practices for handling payment cards

Work with banks or processors to guarantee the use of the most reliable and verified tools and anti-fraud services. In accordance with agreements with your bank or processor, you can also be subject to additional security requirements. Separate payment systems from other, less secure programs, and avoid running both Internet browsing and payment processing on the same machine.

8. Limit employee access to data and information, limit authority to install software

Don’t give a single employee access to every data system. Employees shouldn’t be allowed to install new software without permission, and they should only be granted access to the specific data platforms that they need to accomplish their tasks.

9. Passwords and authentication

Make it mandatory for employees to use special passwords and to update them every three months. Consider using multi-factor authentication, which requires more than just a password to obtain access. Determine whether your vendors who deal with sensitive data, particularly financial institutions, offer multi-factor verification for your account by checking with them.

The Trinity for Cybersecurity and Data Protection

The CIA trinity must be taken into account when talking about data and information. The three critical components of an information security system are known as the CIA triad, which stands for confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Each element stands for a core information security goal.

Here are the three elements of the CIA for cybersecurity discussed below:

  1. Confidentiality

This element is frequently linked to privacy and encryption. In this case, confidentiality refers to the fact that only parties with permission can access the data. When information is kept private, it indicates that other parties have not compromised it; private information is not made available to those who do not need it or who shouldn’t have access to it. By organizing information according to who needs access and the sensitivity of the material, confidentiality is ensured. There are numerous ways to violate confidentiality, including hacking and social engineering.

  1. Integrity

The assurance that the records and data have not been altered or deteriorated before, during, or after submission is referred to as data integrity. The certainty that such data has not been susceptible to illegal modification, whether deliberate or unintentional, is what this means. The integrity of the transmission could be jeopardized at two different points: either during the upload and otherwise the transmission of data or during the storage of the document in its database or collection.

  1. Availability

 This indicates that the data is accessible to authorized people at any time. A system needs working computer systems, security measures, and communication channels in order to demonstrate availability. Extreme requirements in terms of availability are frequently present for systems classified as critical (medical equipment, power generation, safety systems). These systems must be resistant to cyberattacks and contain protections against hardware malfunctions, power outages, and other occurrences that can reduce system availability.

Most Common Cyber Security Threats

While some attacks appear to occur instantly, the majority are identified days, if not weeks, or even months after they occur. Emphasizing one of the major problems small businesses have with cybersecurity: having the knowledge and information necessary to fend against threat actors. The following are the most common cybersecurity threats that exploit small businesses.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware can come in a variety of forms and sizes, but they always operate on the same act of demand: You must pay a ransom amount to unlock your data. In order to prevent stolen data from ever being sold online, criminals frequently follow up with a second ransom demand.

The last stage of a cyberattack generally involves ransomware. Following an attacker’s successful intrusion into the victim’s network, the payload is what is released. Phishing, social engineering, or online application attacks are frequently used as the first step into a network. The moment that they gain access to the network, then they can start to spread ransomware to any endpoint they can access.

2. Misconfigurations or Unpatched Systems

When security parameters are not created and put into place, or when default values are kept, security misconfigurations occur. This typically indicates that the configuration settings do not meet industry security benchmarks like CIS Benchmarks or OWASP Top 10. Because they can be simple for attackers to identify, misconfigurations are frequently considered to be easy targets.

More than a careless firewall rule can be a misconfiguration. Unpatched systems, improper access controls, the disclosure of critical data, and outdated and vulnerable components are some of the most typical misconfigurations. Attackers may purchase tools to search for these vulnerabilities on deep web marketplaces, much like a vulnerability scanning contractor could for your business.

3. Credential Stuffing

This is when an attacker uses your credentials stolen from one account to get into your other accounts of different organizations. These credentials could have been acquired through phishing and other means or bought from third-party sources. Generally, cases like these do not show forced entry as they are using the victim’s login information and password to enter their account. 

Hackers can use an autonomous network of bots to try to get into other platforms with your passwords and usernames. If they are able to discover a pair of credentials that work, then they will exploit these data and gain access to accounts undetectably.

The success rate of these attacks depends on the employees of an organization repeatedly using personal passwords. By doing this, the possibility of a credential-stuffing attack is simply increased.

4. Social Engineering

This is an attack with behavior as an asset. Instead of exploiting a system, a social engineer compromises a person, which leads them to unintentionally divulge sensitive information. This commonly happens in an email phishing scam where the victim is duped into downloading malware or handing over their login information. Typically, a multi-step cyberattack starts with social engineering.

What’s more alarming is that external parties are notified of over 70% of social engineering and phishing occurrences. This implies that when employees take the bait, they frequently are unaware that they have been hooked. Additionally, hackers always devise fresh ways to get through automatic protection measures.

Bottom Line

There is no one method for reducing human hazards that result in breaches. The internet, emails, and even phone calls should all be answered with a fair dose of mistrust by employees. A company with a good cybersecurity culture has a smaller attack surface from social engineering.

In light of the fact that 60% of small businesses shut down within six months following a cyberattack, strengthening your security posture is not only sensible but also essential to the survival of the company. Updating software frequently, keeping up with backups, and properly training your staff might mean the difference between continuing operations and shutting down.

Get in touch with Practical Solutions Public Company Limited through https://www.thepractical.co.th/, the leading network security solutions provider.

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