Small businesses are often more vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches than larger businesses as they lack the dedicated IT staff needed to protect their computer systems. Learning how to protect your business online is essential as it can help you avoid suffering significant damages if your business is the target of a cyber attack.
From training employees and making them aware of common cyber threats to backing up your data and purchasing comprehensive cyber liability insurance, there are several things you can do to prepare for the possibility of a cyber attack.
Here are 6 ways on how to protect your business online.
Why Cyber Security is Important
The FBI’s Internet Crime Report found that cyber attacks caused $2.7 billion in damages in 2020 alone. Small businesses, in particular, are often targeted by cyber criminals as they lack the cyber security infrastructure that larger businesses have.
If your business does experience a data breach, the consequences can be very damaging. Your business may face significant expenses as you have to pay to recover the data, notify affected parties, and potentially pay for legal defenses if a customer or client files a lawsuit. Moreover, your company’s reputation may suffer as customers are less likely to trust you to handle their sensitive personal information.
By prioritizing cyber security and teaching your employees how to avoid common cyber security threats, you can reduce the chances of experiencing a data breach and minimize the impact if it does happen.
6 Ways to Protect Your Business Online
There are several simple steps businesses can take to improve their cyber security practices and avoid a potential data breach.
Here are six important tips to keep in mind to protect your business online.
1. Use strong passwords
Employers should always encourage their employees to use strong passwords for their work computers and work-related apps. Businesses can make this easier for employees by providing access to a secure password manager so they can generate and store strong passwords for all of their accounts.
Businesses should also require employees to change their passwords every three to six months to reduce the chances of a hacker gaining access to their accounts.
2. Limit employee access to sensitive data
One of the most effective ways to prevent sensitive data from being compromised is to limit who has access to it.
Employees should only have access to the data, tools, and information they need to perform their jobs. This way, if an employee’s computer is hacked or an employee falls for a phishing scam, the attacker can’t access all of your company’s sensitive data.
3. Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires users to enter a passcode delivered to them via email, text, or an authenticator app when they attempt to sign in to their accounts.
2FA significantly reduces the chances of phishing attempts being successful, as it alerts users when someone else is trying to access their account. Employers and employees should enable 2FA whenever it is available to reduce the chances of unauthorized users accessing company data.
4. Back up your data securely
Businesses should regularly back up the data on all of their computers, including critical information like financial data, spreadsheets, human resources files, customer data, etc.
You should set up automatic backups if possible and store copies of files either in the cloud or offsite. This will ensure if your business does experience a data breach, you can easily recover your most important files and information.
5. Train your employees
Employees are often the ones that cause data breaches, as they are not aware of the many cyber threats they face. Training your employees on how to stay safe online and avoid common cyber threats can go a long way in preventing data breaches and cyber attacks.
Training topics may include:
- How to create and securely store strong passwords
- Avoiding suspicious web pages and downloads
- How to identify and avoid phishing emails
- How to use antivirus software to scan their computers for malware
- Safely handling customer and vendor information
Ensuring your employees understand how to avoid compromising sensitive data can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing a data breach.
6. Purchase cyber insurance
Cyber insurance can help businesses recover following a cyber attack. It can cover common expenses, including data recovery expenses, notifying impacted parties, lost revenue due to business downtime, crisis management, and legal defense costs.
Cyber crimes can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, if not more. Without cyber insurance, businesses will have to cover these expenses out-of-pocket, and small businesses, in particular, often find it difficult to stay afloat following such an incident.
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Cyber security is essential for any business that handles sensitive data and operates online in any capacity. By maintaining sound cyber security practices and purchasing cyber insurance, you can protect your business against cyber attacks.
At KSA Insurance, we work with small businesses in South Carolina and across the southeastern United States to help them find affordable cyber insurance policies that help protect them against cyber attacks.
Contact us today to request a quote and learn more about how to protect your business online