How To Not Let Cyberattacks Get The Better Of Your Small Business

cybersecurity
Cybersecurity. Photo by Mati Mango from Pexels

Small businesses are the heart and soul of the economy – each offering job opportunities, growing various industries, and enabling ambitious people to live their best lives doing what they love. Yet, with the good comes the bad.

Cybercriminals don’t care if your business is big or small or about how hard you’ve worked to grow it. They see a quick way to take advantage of private information or an opportunity to hold your digital assets hostage.

So, what can you do to protect your small business from these types of events that could potentially lead to ruin? It all starts with preventative measures and being proactive in the way you secure your software. Here are some practical ways to keep your business safe while operating online.

Let your cybersecurity policy lead your workers

Whether it’s for company data saved on a local server or client details shared via email, even small businesses need big protection. To have better control over the information that is being sent out and stored, make sure to set up a cybersecurity policy that lets your employees know exactly how they should handle different types of data.

Should they save it on their desktops or the server? Should sensitive information be emailed to other employees, or should it be shared through USB? These are the types of processes you should be considering.

Get every employee on the same page

By training employees and introducing them to online security procedures, you lower your company’s risk of breaches. Your staff need to be aware of the types of threats that are out there and follow strong password protocols to minimise these threats.

Ultimately, you want to have better control of the data that could jeopardise your business and employees should it fall into the wrong hands. Workshops or online courses can teach your staff what to look out for and which actions to take if they suspect malicious intent. Phishing scams, for instance, happen way too often, and if employees are vigilant and know not to click on these emails, your risk of falling prey is much lower.

Nothing beats solid cybersecurity

Cybersecurity must be a top priority if you want to avoid potentially detrimental data breaches or security leaks. For example, Transnet’s IT infrastructure was recently the victim of a cyberattack. The result? A complete shutdown of the company’s systems, leading to manual managing of all ships and containers.

An attack like this has the potential to bankrupt businesses and for people to lose their jobs. That’s why cybersecurity is critical, regardless of the size of your organisation, as every business has something to lose. Cybersecurity is designed to combat known threats and vulnerabilities and dispatch timely operating system updates and crucial software patches for protecting company assets.

Don’t be complacent

Once you have your employees in the loop and installed all the necessary cybersecurity software, you can’t just sit back and assume your business is safe. Make sure to keep the software up to date and explore the other services your communications provider offers, for example, two-factor or multi-factor authentication or firewall and phishing protection.

Back up your digital assets

Should you be virtually attacked with your online assets locked, how do you go back to working like normal? Planning ahead is key. If data storage and cloud backups are implemented into the cybersecurity plan from the start, you could easily get rid of ransomware and quickly restore the data with little to no downtime.

Don’t forget, just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you won’t be a target for cyberattacks. If cybercriminals can cause havoc on large enterprises, they can prey on anyone. Thankfully, there are many preventative measures that you can take, including the above advice, to protect your business and employees.

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Cyber threats are a very real thing but can easily be avoided by taking proactive measures early. We share some practical ways to keep your business safe while operating online.

  • Matthew Campbell, SEACOM Head of SME and FTTH

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