Cyber attacks pose a serious threat to small businesses.
According to recent statistics, 60% of SMBs that suspend operations after a cyber attack never recover.
The reason being, attacks are extremely costly. There’s the cost of the attack itself – you may have to pay hackers a ransom. You may also have to fork out for damaged systems, IT professionals, and stolen devices and hardware. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg…
The costs to your business and reputation are killer. If hackers gain access to your clients’ sensitive data, you will certainly lose their trust and may even lose their custom.
These possibilities seem frightening. But if you have a cybersecurity plan in place, you greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack.
1. Identify Cybersecurity Risks
This goes beyond learning about cyber threats, such as malware and so on. It’s more about evaluating what your business has to lose.
So, your first step is to establish where you have the most risk and what you need to protect. What kind of data do you hold on your customers? Do you keep sensitive financial information? And where do you store it?
2. Carry Out Tests and Assessments
Next, assess the current state of affairs. In particular, you need to look at areas where cybersecurity should be improved.
See if your software and servers are up-to-date, as hackers find vulnerabilities in outdated software. Assess the strength and coverage of cybersecurity tools. Also, test the risk that your employees pose. For instance, do they use strong passwords? What restricted information can they access? And how susceptible are they to scams or attacks?
3. Protect Your Business
If you want to secure your systems and data, then you need to have the right cybersecurity tools in place. Naturally, you need a firewall that prevents traffic from untrusted sources entering your network. You should also have antivirus software that’s specifically designed for businesses.
It’s a good idea to provide remote workers and those who sometimes work from home with the right tools. A VPN, such as CyberGhost, provides that extra layer of protection. It will block malware and encrypt sensitive data, such as files and emails.
4. Train Staff
Staff need to learn how to spot potential threats because small mistakes can lead to major breaches. For instance, educate them on how to spot a trustworthy/untrustworthy source. This will reduce the likelihood of any malicious downloads that contain malware. Furthermore, they should know how to create strong passwords and protect them.
But most of all, you need to create a culture where employees understand the potential severity of cyber attacks, along with the importance of cybersecurity.
5. Create a Recovery Plan
In this day and age, you can’t say that a cyber attack won’t happen to you. Data breaches happen to companies both large and small. So, you must establish what will go down in the event of an attack.
This includes assigning key roles and responsibilities in the event that security is compromised and establishing procedures for staff to follow. Don’t forget to backup data so that it can be recovered more easily.
Cyber attacks can be debilitating for small businesses. But you can do everything in your power to reduce the risk of becoming a victim and increase your chances of recovery if the worst does happen.