How To Protect Your Employees From Cyber Attacks On Small Business

Preventing a cyber-attack will save your company millions of dollars. When companies fail to prevent cyber attacks, they often deal with data breaches. Depending on the company and the information breached, these attacks can lead to expensive lawsuits. Fortunately, you can avoid paying for lawyers and losing customers by following the best enterprise cybersecurity practices.

Businesses of all sizes deal with cyber threats on a daily basis. 31% of attacks are focused on businesses with less than 250 employees. That’s if you think hackers won’t be interested in you unless your company’s a multi-billion giant. Only a leak of one EU-located customer’s personal information will cost you 2 million Euros if not addressed correctly at once. Thanks, GDPR. And that’s the most innocent attack I’m talking about. Your entire company finances can be at risk, not talking about the reputation, if a hacker gets access to the “right” employee’s files. Yes, for most businesses, employees are the weak link in cybersecurity. So what do you have to do to protect them?

Train Your Employees Periodically

Most business owners cannot effectively train their workers on the latest cybersecurity trends or prevention practices. Hire a qualified trainer once a year. If your employees are steadier (which happens less and less often now), once 2-3 years will do. But make sure to pass the knowledge to new hires.

Involve everyone in the company. Very often, a security issue occurs because of a tiny mistake an employee makes unknowingly: using a predictable password, working from mobile devices, using the wrong software, etc.

We get it that the higher the employee’s rank is, the more valuable data they have access to. But literally anyone who uses a computer to work at your company can put you at risk if not trained well enough.

Set High Password Standards

Everyone’s been talking about passwords since we started using electronic devices, and you might be tired of it. But I just can’t stress it enough. Brute-force attacks exist. Attackers who know us too well exist. Every employee must be ready for those.

Teach them to avoid these when setting passwords:

  • Common passwords: Hackers usually guess common passwords quickly. Instruct your team to choose non-popular, more complex passwords for work. Common passwords are some of the worst passwords. Avoid them as best as you can.
  • Personal information: The employee’s name, birthday, first pet’s name and favorite movie character are very easy to find. They can use those for their personal accounts’ passwords, but make sure they know not to do it on business accounts.

Random password generators are the best. Are you tired of online services requiring a password to include both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters, dragon blood, and a mermaid tail? We all are. But that’s because those online services are just as tired of dealing with stolen user data.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication, which is also called two-step verification or TFA, is the practice of adding a second layer of protection to your login.
No matter how strong a password is, there’s always a small chance that it can be broken as well. So think ahead and teach your employees how important two-factor authentification is.

For more sensitive data, make TFA mandatory. There are multiple ways to verify a login: TFA apps, SMS, pre-saved passcodes, etc. The mobile apps prove to be the most secure option, but the rest can work just as well if handled carefully.

Update Your Antivirus Software

Actually, you should have all the software updated for your entire business. See, hackers always find new vulnerabilities and create new malware, and your job is to have the company software updated to the newest, least vulnerable versions. And it’s part of the antivirus software’s job to make sure you don’t have outdated, risky soft on work computers.

Using the latest version of business antiviruses is crucial because you just want to be safe from any malware, old or new. And this kind of software is always updated to recognize the newest threats. And make sure to use a security service for your website as well. If it’s running on WordPress, a reliable security plugin is a must.

Always Have Backups

Backup everything you do. Make sure your employees do the same. You need to secure all your files and data but you also need a plan B, because even for tech giants with millions or billions in their cybersecurity budget, accidents happen. Provide your employees with all the necessary tools to back up their current work, and follow up to make sure they do. You can set up a backup schedule for the system to work smoothly. Have a copy of everything both on a hard drive and a cloud. Hard drives are physically vulnerable, and clouds are third-party, so you don’t have full control over them. That’s why multiple backup options is a must for saving your data. Having all this done, you can be sure that every cybersecurity issue is reversible.

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