In the digital world we now live in, cybersecurity is a growing concern, and it’s one that many small businesses often neglect. Learn how to create a cybersecurity plan for your small business with these helpful tips.
1.Train your employees in cybersecurity
Cybersecurity begins with people, not hardware. Most hacking attempts and attacks come from social engineering and employee vulnerability, so it makes sense for a good cybersecurity plan to start there.Whether you decide to outsource your security, hire a chief information security officer (CISO), or handle security operations yourself will be your call to make. However, it’s important to take the decision seriously and think through the pro’s and con’s of each.
There are a few key things you need to do to train your employees in cybersecurity. First of all, teach them about the importance of cybersecurity and why it’s vital to your business. Show them how to identify potential threats and how to avoid them. Then, you can train them in basic security measures, such as using strong passwords and encrypting data. Finally, keep your employees up-to-date on the latest security threats and ensure that they know how to respond should a breach occur.
2. Secure your endpoint hardware
Your laptops and mobile devices are your most valuable assets when it comes to running a small business. Not only do you rely on them for daily operations, but they also likely contain sensitive customer and company data. As such, it’s critical that you take steps to protect your devices from cybersecurity threats. Keep your operating system and software up to date since regular updates can patch up any vulnerabilities and help keep your systems secure. It is also a good idea to install anti-virus and anti-malware on your endpoint to enhance its security.
3.Prevent intruders from accessing your network
There are many ways to keep your network safe from cyberattacks. First of all, you have to know your risks. The first step in developing a cybersecurity plan is to assess the exposures and risks faced by your business. Consider what type of information is stored on your network and who has access to it. Also, think about how likely it is that your business will be targeted by a cyberattack and what the consequences would be if an attack were successful.
Make sure your company network is secure by closing default ports and only allow authorized devices and personnel access. If possible, you should also micro-segment networks for 3rd party vendors or consultants, since you have no control over their security practices.
4. Implement access control for all personnel
It’s been mentioned that employees are the biggest cybersecurity risk so limiting their capacity to render your company vulnerable will definitely help. Start by insisting that they only use company-issued devices while on company premises. If you’re operating remotely, issue them work devices and have them use those, rather than personal devices, for fulfilling their duties. This way, you can control which apps and programs they install on the device and prevent them from exposing your organization to malware or worms embedded within illicit programs.
Another way is to implement least-privileged access management – where employees only gain access to what’s needed to complete their job. This, however, requires implementing a privileged access management system (PAM).
5. Consider 3rd Party Cybersecurity Solutions
Cybersecurity requires time and expertise, which many businesses lack. For instance, just implementing network security and access security, as mentioned above, will require hiring in-house experts. Another solution is to find a 3rd party cybersecurity solution provider that does all of the above. Usually, these solution providers are extremely cost-efficient because of their economies of scale. Some vendors even offer free cybersecurity solution for small business to help support small businesses.
6.Document your policies, then review and revise them annually
Every cybersecurity plan is unique to the organization it’s written for, so while you can use other similar plans as references, you’ll ultimately have to make your own plan. What’s most important is that the entire plan, from protocols for personnel, IT and security teams, hardware, and network management, is documented in full. This allows the document to be passed down among employees and partners for them to implement themselves. This is definitely preferable to simply communicating important policies verbally or depending on people’s (often faulty) memories to relay them.
Also, consider reviewing the policy document and revising it as needed over time. Best practices in cybersecurity are likely to change as hacking and attack methodologies evolve. Your company’s security depends on its ability to evolve alongside them.
These are just a few ideas to get you started towards securing your systems. With time and everyone’s cooperation, your organization should be well on its way to sustained success and reduced vulnerability.