8 Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Your Business from a Data Breach

Cybersecurity attacks can be a nightmare scenario for any small business. When it comes to cybersecurity, staying ahead is vital, yet it is rarely an area of expertise for small business owners. It is a complex topic that requires a lot of skills and training.  56% of surveyed organizations do not have a cybersecurity incident response plan

When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is critical.  News that small companies are at high risk for cybersecurity attacks is a surprise for many entrepreneurs. Inadequate preparation and lack of experience are primarily why small businesses are easy targets for cybercriminals seeking to extract quality data without much effort.

The financial damage from cybersecurity attacks is long-term. Most small business budgets do not consider those expenses, leading to significant problems for small companies. 

 

To keep your network secure, consider using this simple, but effective checklist as a guidepost for prevention tactics in your plan to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

Educate Yourself

Understanding the types of attacks and how they happen will increase your ability to prevent them. Data breaches can be caused internally by a poorly trained employee, but they are often external. Phishing attacks give access to a hacker when someone clicks on an infected link. Malware compromises your system when someone downloads an infected file. Cybersecurity breaches are not easy to spot because hackers disguise the communication to make it look like a trusted organization like your bank. 

Train Everybody

Establish best practices for cybersecurity and train all staff thoroughly.  Educate employees on avoiding phishing or malware attacks and ways to spot unusual activity on your network. They should report any concerns immediately. Teach them how to safeguard passwords and how to protect devices they may take home. 30% of remote workers  say that they have allowed another person to use their work device.

Make a Plan to Protect your Company from Cyberattacks

A good plan looks at your vulnerabilities and comes up with specific measures to counteract them. Whether looking at software updates, encryption, patches, or other security protocols, begin with an audit and then develop custom solutions for each problem area. 

Make a Plan that Outlines What to do When a Data Breach Happen

Even the best-laid plans can't prevent all attacks. However, it makes them less likely. If the worst happens, a plan sets you up with a good strategy you can follow, rather than being reactive to the crisis. Breaches may not be discovered immediately and can take a long time to uncover.

Breach discovery length infographic from embroker.com.

 

A plan will allow you to respond instantly. Action items to include are securing the premises, preventing further spread by isolating affected servers or computers, removing malware or viruses, and restoring data. Consider engaging legal counsel and a public relations consultant to understand your legal obligations and steps to handle any public or media exposure.

Get Good Insurance

Consider getting data breach liability insurance if you collect and store data that is at high risk of theft, such as social security numbers, birth dates, and financial information. It could be well worth the investment. Make sure you understand the coverage limitations. Commonly covered items are legal fees, notification costs, and expenses associated with victim compensation, such as paying for identity protection memberships. Some policies may pay for investigations or income loss. Shop around and read the fine print, as policies are generally not all-inclusive. 

Devices Get Lost and Stolen

Protect all devices with strong encryption and passwords and ensure all security and operation system software is always up to date. 

Get a VPN

Virtual private networks offer excellent and affordable protection when your devices access public networks. They also give you privacy and anonymity. 

Back up Religiously

Regular backups give you a leg up after a breach. You can quickly restore your data and files and avoid long down-times.

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