Cyber security tips for small businesses

Many small businesses have the misconception that they are far too small to consider their cyber security policy and that malicious attacks from hackers only occur when you are a larger business.

Its true to say that for a cyber-criminal it is of course far more profitable for them to target larger businesses, but it’s harder for them to infiltrate their systems. Targeting smaller businesses is far easier, as they do not pay enough attention to their security systems, so attacks on smaller businesses are increasing at a rapid rate.

We look at the top tips that we could advise smaller businesses on implementing to ensure that they are secure.

  1. Implement a robust firewall: Solutions for cyber security are positioned between your business network and the outside wall. This then prevents any unauthorised persons from gaining any access to your network and any of your stored data. However, in this process, you must ensure that you protect your remote workers. Mode would suggest purchasing a next generation firewall. Although this is more cost, this does offer a truly robust system against hackers.
  2. Password policy: ensure that you have passwords for all your systems as well as computers. Create a policy for your teams so that they have to implement strong passwords including lower- and upper-case letters, numbers and unique characters such as $%@. Train your teams on this and set reminders on your systems so that these are regularly changed, probably every 30 days.
  3. Training on Cyber Security: Ensure you have regular training for your teams and create a culture where cyber security is important to all. Cover the basics, internet safety, how your teams handle sensitive data, password creation and make sure your training covers the principles of how to avoid phishing emails. You could even create a simulation on phishing emails and see how they respond and create lessons learnt sessions.
  4. Ensure there is multifactor authentication password: Not only should you have passwords; you should ensure that there is one other method of authentication. This means if for any reason your login is compromised then another method of security is needed in order to access your systems. This could be a text message to your smartphone.
  5. Always Back-up: You need to make sure that you have a good back policy. If a hacker attacks your systems, then you must be able to restore all your data quickly to ensure there is minimal downtime to your business.
  6. Update your software and your firmware: there are always vulnerabilities, often patches and security updates are released and all too often, businesses ignore them. Don’t! Make sure these are downloaded and implemented.
  7. Make sure you have a spam filter: Phishing emails are an easy way for hackers to infiltrate your business. It means they can by-pass your defences and gain log on credentials and install the malware directly on to your systems. An advanced spam filter will block all malicious spam.
  8. Wi-Fi networks need to be secure: If you have wireless networks, they need protection. All your data should be encrypted, hidden and doesn’t broadcast its Service Set Identifier (SSID). Change default passwords and protect it from outside infiltration.
  9. Implement a web filter: Web based attacks are on the increase. Implement a filter. This will prevent your teams from accessing websites that may potentially host malicious malware and block them.

Contact Mode today and let us help your business start its cyber security protection today.

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes

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