When it comes to cybersecurity for small businesses, the stakes are high.
There is a 1 in 4 chance that your business will be hacked. If a breach occurs, the business can lose on average 118,000 dollars. What is most frightening is that 60% of small businesses that are hacked never reopen.
Small business owners put their heart and soul into their work, so nobody should have to see it all stolen by a ne’er-do-well with an internet connection.
Just as business owners protect their assets from fire, flood, and theft, you should put together a cybersecurity plan to protect your business from data breaches. This isn’t something you can do after a breach: it needs to be in place before it ever happens.
Read on to learn the essential elements of a good cybersecurity plan.
Identify Key People and Assets
The first thing you document in your plan should be the people who are most responsible for security and the assets they need to protect.
Relevant individuals may include your CIO, your IT manager, and/or an external IT support agency. You will need to clearly establish their roles and collect up-to-date contact information so that they can be reached quickly.
The assets your plan should cover may include networks and servers, digital storage, a company CRM, and data stored in the cloud. List all your assets in a catalog.
Determine Risks and Solutions
Once you know what needs to be protected, you will need to figure out how those assets could be compromised and what you will do to prevent that.
Prioritize the worst risks so that you can set achievable goals. You should also know what regulations apply to your industry, particularly if you work in healthcare or finance. Exposure of personal data could result in fines, so having a detailed log of procedures could help clear your business of negligence charges.
Common forms of hacking include phishing attempts, social engineering, denial of service attacks, brute force attacks, ransomware attacks, and compromising credentials.
Cybersecurity for business purposes can include the following tools.
- Anti-malware software
- Data encryption
- Spam filters
- SIEM systems
You should also establish user guidelines, as your employees can inadvertently become IT vulnerabilities. One effective tactic to use is to require employees to use strong passwords and change them periodically. Another is to set permissions and restrict access levels.
You will need a procedure to handle threats, whether it involves deploying an in-house tech support team, or alerting managed IT services. The goal of the procedure should be to isolate the breach and take affected data offline immediately.
Keep Your Cybersecurity Plan Current
Hackers are always learning new tricks, so your cybersecurity plan needs to evolve too. You should regularly audit and update your plan to respond to new threats.
Train your employees on how to detect suspicious behavior and how to not fall for social engineering schemes. Some businesses even contract “ethical hackers” to test their security!
IT Support, Waco TX
This is all a lot to keep up with, especially for small business owners who already have a lot on their plates. Let professionals help you implement a cybersecurity plan, by contacting Kainos Technologies.