The 6 Best Cybersecurity Strategies for Small Businesses
What are Cybersecurity strategies? As a small business owner, you have to tackle many responsibilities yourself. From marketing to sales, customer service to accounting and inventory, it can feel like there’s no end to the number of tasks you have to handle every day.
It is only natural that your website may not be your top priority. You put some content to appeal to your customers, but you don’t have the time or money to ensure top-notch quality.
That being said, small business websites are significantly more exposed to cyber threats than their larger counterparts. A simple security breach can expose sensitive data, cripple your website, and damage your reputation.
The good news is that there are some basic cybersecurity strategies you can implement to protect your small business website from attacks – more on them below.
Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
One of the most important cybersecurity strategies for small businesses – or online security in general – is to use strong passwords. A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
It is also essential to avoid using easily guessed words like “password” or easily accessible personal information like your birthdate.
Moreover, you should enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.
Answering questions like “how to identify single points of failure” or “how to conduct a risk assessment” are significant first steps in securing your organization, but you won't be able to achieve much if you lose access to your whole infrastructure.
Cybersecurity Strategies – Keep Your Software Up to Date
Keeping your software up to date is one of the simplest and most effective cybersecurity strategies for small businesses. Software updates often include security patches that close vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. By staying on track with updates, you make it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your website or data.
Similarly, up-to-date software will also run more smoothly and be less likely to experience glitches. Outdated software is often the root cause of technical issues like website crashes, slow loading times, and lost data. On top of that, you may miss out on the latest features and functionality that would improve your business operations.
Implement Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Protection
Another essential cybersecurity strategy for small businesses is to implement anti-malware and anti-virus protection. Malware is a type of malicious software that can infect your website or computer and cause serious damage. Viruses are similar to malware but are specifically designed to spread from one computer to another.
Anti-malware software can detect and remove malware from your system, while anti-virus software can prevent viruses from spreading in the first place. By implementing both types of protection, you can significantly reduce the risk of cyberattacks on your small business website.
Educate Your Employees about Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity education is often overlooked. It's easy to assume that everyone knows how to protect themselves online, but that's not always the case. Many employees are unaware of the risks of clicking on malicious links or opening attachments from unknown senders. As a result, they can unintentionally expose your business to cyber threats.
By providing cybersecurity education to your employees, you can make them aware of the dangers of cyberattacks and teach them how to protect themselves – and your business – online. There are many free resources available online that you can use to create an employee training program.
Alternatively, you could hire a professional trainer to come in and deliver an interactive workshop.
Perform Regular Backups
Regular backups are essential for any small business website. If your site is hacked or experiences a technical issue, you can lose all of your data. By performing regular backups, you can ensure that you have a copy of your website and data that you can restore if necessary, ensuring business continuity.
There are many different ways to perform backups, but the most common method is to use a backup plugin. Backup plugins create a copy of your website and data and store it on a remote server. Alternatively, you could use a managed WordPress hosting provider that includes automatic backups as part of their service.
Avoid Using Public Networks
When working on your small business website, it is vital to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks. Although modern devices provide you with significantly more effective security measures, attacks such as man-in-the-middle are still possible.
If you need to use a public Wi-Fi network for some reason, there are precautions you can take to reduce the risk of attack. First, avoid accessing any sensitive data or websites while connected to a public network.
Second, use a VPN to encrypt your traffic and make it more difficult for hackers to intercept your data. Lastly, use HTTPS whenever possible to ensure that your data is encrypted end-to-end.
To Sum Up
As a small business owner, you have enough on your plate without having to worry about cybersecurity. However, it is important to remember that small business websites are just as susceptible to cyber threats as their larger counterparts – if not more.
By implementing the strategies listed above, you can significantly reduce the risk of attack and keep your business safe online. Perform regular backups, use a VPN whenever possible, and educate your employees about cybersecurity. The most important thing is to get started today – the sooner you start working on the security of your online presence, the better.
November 7, 2023