In 2019, cybercrimes cost each victimized organization an average of $13 million.
Worse, experts forecast that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion every year by 2021.
Moreover, it’s not just the big names that cybercriminals are targeting. A report showed that in 2019, 43% of all data breaches targeted small to medium businesses.
This highlights the fact that regardless of size, any business can be a cybercrime victim. That’s why as early as now, you should invest in a solid cybersecurity program for your small business.
Ready to learn the best computer security tips to up your business’ cybersecurity? Keep reading then as we’ve listed 10 of them for you!
1. Implement a Strict Password Policy
A whopping 23.2 million people — that’s how many had their accounts hacked because of the password “123456”. The password “qwerty” was also very popular, with 3.8 million hacked victims found to use it. And yes, “password” was also common among these hacking victims.
Unfortunately, this problem with easy-to-crack passwords isn’t limited to average folks. Back in 2012, a study found that half of government and military workers used such passwords.
That said, you should enforce stricter password policies on your people. Passwords should be a mix of lower- and upper-case letters and special characters. Also, set the minimum character count to at least eight characters.
As an added measure, require everyone to change their passwords every month. Their new passwords should be significantly different from their previous ones.
2. Not One, Not Two, But Multi-Factor Authentication
You can prevent small business cybersecurity threats by using multi-leveled authentication. Multi-factor authentication involves more security steps than just entering a single password. Additional authentication may be through an image-based captcha and keying in another code.
While hackers may still crack the password, they’ll have a harder time with the captcha and the other code. The more difficult to get through your network, the less “desirable” it is to hackers.
3. Set Up Automatic Software Updates
A solid small business cybersecurity plan should include automatic software updates. Updates, after all, exist to fix bugs and loopholes, all of which are susceptible to cybercrime.
In fact, a study found that 22% of high-risk cyber issues had something to do with outdated software. Many of these cases also involved missing updates or patches.
Don’t let your business be the next National Health Service that became a victim of its dated systems. Make sure that all your software and programs are running the most recent version. You can easily set this up by selecting each program’s “automatic update” option.
4. Use Internal and External Firewalls
Internal firewalls are software that runs continuously on a computer’s background. They scan for viruses, malware, and other suspicious files or potential “breachers”. They then quarantine and terminate such files that they capture.
Whereas an external firewall is a barrier between your main network and the Internet. Before you can connect to the internet, the firewall first checks how “trustworthy” it is. If it’s safe and secure, the firewall allows the connection.
Both types of firewalls are crucial aspects of cybersecurity for small businesses. They can protect your network from both internal and external threats.
5. Install Additional Phishing and Spam Filters
One in every 99 emails sent is a form of a phishing attack. 30% of these emails get through basic security protocols.
Overall, more than eight in 10 people worldwide received such emails. These attacks led to 67% of the recipients experiencing a decrease in productivity. Worse, over half suffered proprietary data loss and another half experienced reputation damage.
That said, you should set up extra phishing and spam filters to better secure your network. Such filters can help decrease the number of phishing emails that get past your security.
6. Schedule Daily Data Backups
Create daily backups of all your in-office, private, and public documents and files. Test these backups too, to ensure that you can actually recover them.
You should also spread the backups in both online and offline platforms. For instance, you should save them in at least two online locations and in another two on-site. Have another backup created and stores offsite.
7. Enforce Strict Personal Device Security Policies
Your on-site computers and devices may be secure, but personal devices can infect them. These include personal laptops, tablets, smartphones, external hard drives, and other USB devices. Unmonitored use of outside software can be a threat too.
You don’t have to ban the use of these external devices and programs, but be strict on their use. A good rule is to ensure that your people keep their devices and software up-to-date at all times.
8. Limit and Monitor Privileged Access
The fewer the people who have access to sensitive company data, the lower the risks of breaches. You should also keep tabs on what employees with privileged access do with this access. Monitor the sites they visit, the files they download, and the content they upload.
Remember, small business cybersecurity threats also originate from the “inside”. In 2019 alone, internal offenders — yes, employees themselves — were part of 34% of cyber attacks.
9. Disable the Browser Autofill Option
Disabling autofill for passwords, payment options, and other data encourages better cybersecurity practices. There would be no login credentials stored for hackers to easily manipulate.
10. Schedule Routine Security Audits
As cyber threats continue to evolve, so should your small business cybersecurity plan. To be a step ahead of these criminals though, you need to know how effective your current policies are. Especially since it takes an average of 191 days — that’s half a year — to discover data breaches.
Small business security audits can help you stay in the loop of potential breaches. One example is the Service Organization Control (SOC) audit.
A SOC audit is an in-depth audit of a company’s policies, procedures, and technology. It checks for potential and existing cybersecurity threats. It looks for all the loopholes in a company’s network that cybercriminals may breach.
Moreover, SOC audits also help ensure that your systems and networks operate securely. The results of the audits can then help you improve upon your current security policies. In this way, you can better protect your company from potential attacks.
Follow These Computer Security Tips Now to Avoid Being a Cybercrime Victim
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the most effective computer security tips. Just make sure that all members of your team follow these cybersecurity practices. Also, be sure to train and educate your employees on any policy change, so that they’ll also know the risks they face.
Want to stay in the loop of the ever-changing world of technology? Then don’t forget to bookmark our site! We have more how-to guides like this to help boost your business’ cybersecurity.