This misconception that only large businesses are at risk of cybercrime is not only incredibly untrue, but it can also be devastatingly harmful. Big businesses have far more financial muscle to protect themselves from cyber risks, and can invest more into cyber security measures, which overall can act as a deterrent to potential criminals. Small businesses? Small businesses may not seem like appealing targets from the outskirts, but the truth is that they’re perhaps more at risk because they may be less protected and less informed in how to defend themselves against cyberattacks.
All this is to say that small businesses and big businesses need to understand the importance of cyber security, which ranges from information back-ups and password management to proper employee training. Your business’s cyber security is only as strong as its weakest link! Let’s take a deep dive into some critical cyber tips for all size of businesses.
Tailoring a Cybersecurity Strategy for Your Small Business
Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can take some effort on your part as a business owner. A good plan should incorporate the maintenance of cyber insurance policies, response protocols, the installation of adequate firewalls and software, and educational materials to be laid out in advance. The prevention of an attack should always be a top priority, as it’s better to avoid an incident altogether than have to pick up the pieces after one has occurred.
For having a consistently up-to-date strategy, you may consider hiring a cybersecurity point person. If this isn’t in the budget, that’s OK! Instead, look internally and consider adding that responsibility (for a pay raise) to an existing employee who can manage news on up-to-date tactics, the latest virus prevention software, and more. Now, let’s get into some cyber tips:
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, requires users to perform multiple actions in order to gain security access to accounts, networks, or databases. It acts as a deterrent to potential hackers and bolsters your security, plus it helps employees get into the practice of ensuring accounts are safeguarded, even if a password is compromised. MFA can include passwords, biometrics, email validation, cell security codes, and more.
Utilize Information Backups
As we have earlier addressed in our previous blog on Cyber Awareness Month, a lot of data attacks happen as a result of cloud-based software. Having information backups and storing them on separate mediums, like USB sticks, external drives, or even disk storage system can go a long way. This ensures that in case of a cyberattack or data loss, you can quickly recover without significant disruptions.
Invest in a firewall, intrusion detection system, and antivirus software to protect your small business’s network. Segment your network to isolate sensitive data and limit access only to those who need it. Make sure to regularly monitor network traffic for anomalies that might indicate a breach, or outsource a team of professional information technology experts who can do so on your company’s behalf.
Start by Training Your Employees
The biggest risk to your company’s security? Your employees. Human error is the number one largest cause of data breaches. Start by educating your employees about cybersecurity best practices. Ensure they understand the importance of strong passwords, recognize phishing attempts, and know how to securely handle sensitive data. Regular training sessions can help keep your team vigilant, whether those are once per year, once per every six months, or even more frequently (depending on your industry.)
Cover topics that are relevant to your business, like the utilization of strong passwords and the implementation of MFA. Work remotely? Use virtual training workshops to train remote employees how to utilize their company’s network from a remote setting safely. Talk about phishing safety, safe Internet browsing, and secure communication practices.
Get Cyber Insurance
First – cyber insurance is not a replacement for cyber security. It’s a supplement. Most cyber insurers will not insure a business without pre-existing cyber security measures, including firewall, MFA, and certain cybersecurity measures. Cyber insurance can act as a fallback plan for any business that may be at risk of a cyber breach, and can help if all else fails.
Cyber insurance and sufficient cyber security are both critical tools in the digital age. Cyber insurance provides financial protection against the potentially devastating costs associated with a cyberattack or data breach. In an era where cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, having cyber insurance can help mitigate the financial and reputational fallout of such incidents.
Cyber insurance typically covers expenses like legal fees, notification costs, forensic investigations, and customer credit monitoring, among others. It can also help cover the costs of restoring compromised systems and data. Moreover, cyber insurance can provide invaluable support in the form of incident response teams and experts who can guide a company through the crisis, ultimately minimizing the long-term damage to its operations and reputation. Given the prevalence of cyber threats today, having cyber insurance is a wise investment to safeguard your business’s financial stability and resilience in the face of digital risks.
Get Insured with AHI Group and Protect Your Digital Assets
AHI Group is an agency based in Olathe, Kansas that helps small and large businesses alike find the comprehensive insurance coverage they need. As the world of technology evolves at our fingertips, so does the sophistication of cybercriminals, making it all the more important for us to stay on our toes. Give us a call to discuss getting your business the cyber insurance it needs to stay vigilant against potential digital threats.