Despite a spike in the number of small businesses targeted by hackers, a recent report published by Paychex concludes that most small business owners are not concerned about cybersecurity threats. Paychex, a provider of integrated human capital management for small to mid-sized businesses, found that an astonishing 68% of small business owners are not worried about their business being hacked. However, the National Cyber Security Alliance asserts that over 70% of cyber-attacks target small businesses, and that the cost of recovery can be enough to force a small business into bankruptcy.
The survey also disclosed that 90% of small business owners are at least somewhat confident that their business would be able to recover from a hack. Unfortunately, many small business owners find out the hard way that they should have invested more time and money into protecting their business against cyber-attacks. These business owners need to make a commitment to improving their cybersecurity efforts before becoming a victim.
Follow the tips below to improve cybersecurity:
#1 Consider hiring a managed service provider – Hiring a provider to handle your IT needs can save you money in the long run. You won’t have to waste your time and resources on managing security, storage, and other IT related tasks. Don’t try to cut corners when it comes to data protection and cybersecurity; the consequences can be catastrophic.
#2 Use strong passwords – Make sure that you are using strong passwords to protect accounts and train your employees on how to devise passwords that cannot easily be guessed. Also, do not use the same passwords that you use for personal accounts. Every account should have its own unique password. You could use a free tool like LastPass to help you organize this more complex but safer setup.
#3 Learn how to spot malicious emails – Learn how to spot phishing emails and train employees on how to determine whether or not an email is from a legitimate source.
#4 Manage how your employees are allowed to use personal devices for work related tasks – While you may need your employees to actively check emails from their personal devices, you will want to control what information your employees are allowed to access, store, and transmit on a personal device. Also make sure they do not store passwords on these devices. Every business should have an acceptable use policy as well as a mobile phone policy. If you don’t have one please consult your company attorney to help create them.
#5 Have a backup plan and test this plan – Practice makes perfect. When an attack occurs, being able to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible is essential to your survival. Have a comprehensive backup plan, invest in a strong backup appliance, and test your plan quarterly to ensure business continuity in the event of a hack or other system failure.