Small businesses have fewer resources to dedicate to security, making them easy targets for hackers and vulnerable to unforeseen accidents, property damage, injuries, and lawsuits. All these incidents can result in financial loss, client loss, and downtime, which can be disastrous to the bottom line.
Luckily, with a comprehensive action plan, you can be proactive about protecting your assets. Here, we’ll outline the best 8 strategies for protecting your small business in 2022.
Get Business Insurance
Business insurance offers financial protection against different threats. There are many types of insurance policies, including coverage for property damage, legal liability, and data breach. With vendors such as AHA Insurance, you can get your desired policy online within minutes. Be sure to speak with an insurance agent to learn which coverage addresses your specific needs and the risks unique to your business.
Implement an Employee Security Training Program
Your business security plan should include a training program for employees. Ensure everyone in the team understands security policies and procedures. Help them comprehend the importance of updating their software, adopting the best security practices, and how to respond if they identify a potential security breach. Schedule refresher courses once or twice a year to keep security at the top of their minds.
Be Smart About Passwords
Following the password best practices is essential in protecting your small business. Keep in mind that length is more beneficial than complexity so, set passwords of at least eight characters. Also, don’t put the same passwords on multiple accounts and don’t save them in insecure programs. If you deal with sensitive data, you might require MFA. This would need users to present at least two identifying factors, such as a password and a code, before gaining access to programs or systems.
Enhance Email Security
Nearly 50% of all malicious email attachments come from office files. Hence, it’s crucial to enhance email security. Get software that scans emails for potential malware and viruses. Moreover, educate your employees about the best email security practices and the importance of double-checking before opening attachments or links. If your company deals with customer data, consider encrypting documents, so both the sender and recipient need a passcode to open it.
Use a Firewall and Antivirus Software
A firewall prevents malicious software or traffic from reaching your network. Some firewalls have virus-scanning capabilities but if yours doesn’t have, install antivirus software. Such software will scan your network to remove any malware that has been made through the firewall. In addition, it would alert you to a data breach so you can respond proactively.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
When you buy Wi-Fi equipment, the device comes with a default password. Make sure to encrypt the network with your unique password. You can choose from several types of passwords for the router, but one of the most secure is a Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) code. Moreover, hide your network, so the router doesn’t broadcast your network name. Finally, consider setting up a guest account with different passwords and security measures for customers who need Wi-Fi access.
Protect Your Payment System
If you’re using a bank or payment processor, you need to be sure you’ve installed all software updates. Also, ensure that all transactions are secured with the SSL protocols. Credit card tokenization is also a must to reduce the risk of data breaches as it replaces sensitive data with a randomly generated string of characters. Last but not least, ensure you’re PCI compliant. The consequences of a data breach for a business that isn’t PCI compliant can include costly fines in addition to significant damage to the reputation.
Prepare a Business Continuity Plan
Your business operations can be disrupted at any time due to a variety of reasons. For example, a natural disaster might impact the area you operate in. Or, one of your valued team members might get ill. So, you need to prepare business continuity plans in response to a crisis. These plans assign roles to team members within the organization to react promptly. This will minimize the impact of the interruption and prevent you from losing customers or damaging your reputation.
Mobilize Your Security Policies
If your business has embraced a flexible, remote, or hybrid working model, the bring-your-own-device practice surely has many benefits. However, you should be aware of the security issues associated with it. To protect your business, create a comprehensive BYOD policy that outlines the acceptable use of their electronic devices for work purposes.
As a small business owner, you don’t have the extensive resources that multimillion-dollar organizations have. However, you may face similar risks to your larger counterparts. So, it’s crucial to implement these strategies and conduct regular vulnerability assessments to ensure you’re on top of your security game.