Prevalent Cybersecurity Mistakes for Small Businesses and How to Prevent Them
If you’re like many other small business owners, you appreciate the value of technology. It allows you to fulfill your daily tasks more efficiently, helps you make meaningful connections with customers, and ultimately helps your company grow and reach your goals.
That said, there is a downside to relying on technology for your business, the most significant being cybercrime. Unless you take the necessary precautions, your company will be left open to hacks, malware, and other attacks that can result in devastating losses.
Concept Marketing Group has listed the most common cybersecurity mistakes so that you can ensure your small business is protected!
Assuming You’re Safe
In today’s world, no data is safe from the reach of cybercriminals. If you haven’t been hit before, it’s easy to lull yourself into believing it won’t impact you.
Of course, these criminals would be more interested in catching the big fish companies, and they try. But they also know that the small businesses are the low-hanging fruit and, when attacked in quantity, can bring in major money.
When smaller businesses don’t have unlimited resources and are trying to cover basic costs, they often overlook cybersecurity. When an incident hits, many companies are unprepared and suffer significant losses. Don’t let your company be among them!
Not Having a Plan
It’s imperative to plan for the worst. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think IT security is not important enough to act on now and leave the planning for a later date.
If you are hit with a cyberattack, you will be thankful for having established a recovery plan so that you can resume normal activities as soon as possible. Good recovery plans should detail what applications are essential to operate your business and need to be a top priority in recovery.
Here are some things to consider when making a recovery plan:
Time frames and objectives for recovery
Any organizations or officials you need to contact regarding the breach
How you will contact customers and vendors
How you will document the incident
Who needs to be involved in the recovery effort
Of course, a good cybersecurity plan will demand a lot from you. At the very least, the research, strategizing, and testing involved will take up a lot of your time and resources. To ensure that your other business tasks don’t fall by the wayside, here's a monthly planner template that you can download to help you stay on top of all your responsibilities, including the additional one of developing a disaster recovery plan.
Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is notoriously unsafe. It is open to the public but also available to bad actors.
For instance, say your employee goes to a restaurant or a coffee shop during their lunch break; they use their laptop to access their work email, tap into the office network to retrieve a file, or access your company’s application. Suppose a cybercriminal has hacked into the public Wi-Fi or used a deceptive network with the same name. In that case, they not only could steal passwords, contact information, and customer data but also attack and seize your server remotely.
To avoid the above scenario, develop written policies for your employees, instructing them on the do’s and don’ts of how they can remotely access company information. Provide them with ways to connect to essential company information through a virtual private network (VPN).
Failing to Update
Technology is ever-evolving and ever-improving. Cybercriminals are also keeping up and finding ways to break through systems. Software companies are constantly releasing updates to patch up any loopholes or weaknesses.
If you fail to follow through on the upgrades, you leave your IT system vulnerable to attacks. Consider the software patches like plugging holes in the armor around your system. Each time you select to approve the upgrade, you develop a digital fortress around your company.
Passwords are essential to keeping people out and employees accountable for any activities occurring while they access the company network. It’s vital to relay to employees the importance of updating their passwords regularly and not sharing them with anyone. No one, not even coworkers, should share passwords.
Your small business may not have unlimited resources, but you should allocate some of yours to cybersecurity. You cannot assume your company will be safe!
Develop a recovery plan, update your software, and communicate the necessity of protecting the company network by using a VPN and not sharing passwords. Avoiding common mistakes can help you build a digital shield around your business.
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