These days, almost all successful small businesses have an online presence. Some companies have a sophisticated e-commerce store, some run popular sites, and others have a place to communicate with potential customers. But, with cybersecurity breaches on the rise, even the smallest of businesses can fall foul of online hackers.
According to a study, most Indian businesses voted cyber threats and data frauds as the primary risk factor to the success of their business. In 2018, information of over 1.1 billion Aadhaar card holders leaked from the Indian government’s website. Since then, India has seen an increase of 22% in terms of cyberattacks.
With recent security breaches making the news, ensuring your business from online attacks, is essential. Therefore, we’ve put together a list of measures to help you protect customer data, improve cloud security, and find the right cybersecurity solutions for small business.
If you’re keeping customer details on file, such as addresses and card details, you must ensure that these are kept safely in a secure, encrypted place online. Accidentally leaking customer details can destroy customer confidence in business forever and it’s extremely hard to regain trust afterwards.
Maintain different passwords for all accounts and try to stay aware of any potential scams. Don’t overlook the basics — use long, complex passwords with a mix of letters and numbers and change them often. Ensure that all your employees are aware of all the measures you’re taking to increase business security.
Your priority should be finding ways to protect your website, particularly if most of your business either comes through it via direct sales. If you’re using a web host, make sure it’s secure and trustworthy. Always back up any key data on a secure, cloud-based server in case a hack leads to the destruction of your website.
Invest in up-to-date cybersecurity protection software such as firewalls, malware, and patches. You should also consult an external security consultant or expert who can advise you on where the biggest gaps in your website security can be found.
When it comes to establishing tight data security at your small business, it’s important to keep your employees in the loop. If possible, introduce IT security best practices for employees and basic cybersecurity training sessions. You can even create a handbook for new employees to help them understand the importance of staying secure and the best ways to do it.
Make sure all employees know who to contact in the case of an IT or other company emergencies – whether it’s someone within the company or an outside agency. Establish rules around using work computers for personal use, such as using a personal email, which could be more vulnerable to being hacked.
Teach your employees how to encrypt important data with security protocols such as IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) and TLS (Transport Layer Security). Moreover, you should make sure that your employees are aware of the risks posed by unprotected mobile phones. Lost or stolen employee phones could potentially lead to major cybersecurity breaches.
If multiple people have access to key systems, think about adding two-factor authentication to limit the risk of hacking. This could include verification via secret tokens, additional complex passwords, or biometrics such as fingerprints.
Avoid using questions that could be commonly known or discovered in your authentication processes, such as birthdays or birth location. Additionally, be aware that phone number or email address verification, while straightforward, can be compromised through hacked accounts, stolen phones, or item cloning.
Always ensure that you and your employees are being sensible on social media. Poorly thought out social media posts can easily lead to a cybersecurity breach. For instance, many brands often give away information that makes it easier for hackers to guess their way into a website or create a scam to fool customers.
Keep any personal information on social media to a minimum and make sure your employees do the same. If you’re using an agency or an outside source to manage your social media, make sure you know exactly who has access to which areas. Moreover, you should limit their exposure to any sensitive information to avoid later data loss.
Finally, take all of the necessary precautions that you can to protect your business from security breaches. One additional way to do so is by buying a cyber risks insurance policy. With its help, you and your business will remain protected from cyberattacks, data loss, malware threats, and more.