Best Practices for Cyber Risk Management in Small Businesses

Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to steal business data and information. Small businesses must take steps to prevent and defend against these attacks.

It’s impossible to defend against every threat. But determining the most damaging threats and attacking them first is a good place to start.

Train Employees

Cyberattacks are a major concern for individuals, large enterprises, the government, and anyone participating in modern society. Many small business owners mistakenly believe cyber criminals won’t target their companies, but they are wrong. Small businesses are vulnerable to phishing, malware, ransomware attacks, and data breaches, just like any other business.

The best way to prevent careless cybersecurity mistakes is to train employees to be cyber-secure. Cybersecurity training should occur regularly and be updated as new threats emerge. This will ensure that employees always have a fresh understanding of the risks they face. It’s important to ensure employees understand how serious a breach can be and why it’s their responsibility to follow company guidelines.

If your organization uses third-party vendors, it’s important to monitor them continuously. This will help you identify and address potential vulnerabilities before a breach occurs. Developing an incident response plan is also helpful in case a third-party vendor experiences a cyberattack. This can reduce downtime and expenses and contain reputational damage.

As cyberattacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, the need for greater attention to cyber risk management is more urgent than ever. The consequences of a breach are far-reaching and can affect every aspect of your business operations. Following the tips above, you can protect your company from cyberattacks and avoid a costly breach.

Create a Cybersecurity Policy

As a small business, you don’t have the time or resources to defend against all threats. Instead, prioritize the risks that are most damaging to your company. Then, allocate the most resources to these threats first. This will ensure that your business can continue operating despite a cyberattack and reduce the long-term impacts of a data breach.

It’s no secret that cyberattacks are a common problem for many businesses. But many small business owners don’t know that a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy can help them prevent most cyberattacks, minimize damage and disruption, and reduce the risk of data breaches.

A comprehensive cyber security program should include policies for employee training and best internet usage practices. These policies help ensure employees use strong passwords, avoiding unsafe sites and downloading attachments. Moreover, it should include a policy on securing hardware and software applications. This process can include checking public-facing software for patches and updates to close vulnerabilities. It should also have a process that ensures the business uses two-factor authentication to protect its passwords and other credentials.

The countless headline-grabbing ransomware attacks have shown that many companies are not keeping up with patch management. Similarly, cyber attackers often target unprotected web servers and other publicly-facing software applications. A well-planned vulnerability management program should address these issues and enable you to update your software without requiring end users to act.

Invest in Security Software

Small businesses collect much personal information, including client records, financial details, intellectual property, etc. This data is critical to the success of a business and must be safeguarded. But, many small business owners don’t take the necessary precautions to prevent cyber attacks and data breaches. These attacks can cost the company customer loyalty and revenue loss, fines from regulators, and more.

It’s easy to let cybersecurity fall by the wayside when starting a new business. New owners are focused on setting up the business, hiring employees, and growing their client base. They may not have the resources to dedicate to a full cybersecurity assessment or invest in the right software for their needs. But this can lead to an unprotected network, leaving the doors open for hackers.

As more business data is stored online, the risk of cyberattacks increases. And this is true for both large enterprises and small businesses. Hackers cast their nets wide, targeting businesses of all sizes and types to gain access to larger networks.

Small business owners should consider investing in the right security software, such as a next-gen antivirus, a firewall, threat prevention tools, and ransomware protection. In addition, they should train their employees in cybersecurity best practices to help protect the business. This includes teaching them how to recognize phishing emails, creating strong passwords, and keeping their computers up to date with the latest security updates.

Monitor Your Network

Strong network and endpoint security measures are the best way to prevent cyberattacks. This includes a firewall, intrusion detection and prevention systems, anti-malware software, and secure Wi-Fi access. Additionally, you should encrypt all devices and data to protect against unauthorized access. Finally, monitoring the network around the clock to identify and respond to threats is important.

The most common reason small businesses get hit with a cyber attack is because employees click on a bad link or don’t properly secure their computers. This is why investing in employee awareness training is crucial and ensuring everyone gets cybersecurity awareness training as part of their onboarding process.

Another reason why SMBs are targeted is because they often believe that they have nothing to lose compared to larger companies. However, the reality is that it doesn’t take much for a small business to be wiped out by a cyberattack. In fact, it is estimated that 60% of hacked small businesses fail within six months because they cannot afford the fallout or clean-up costs.

Cyber risk management in small businesses is complex and requires a combination of many factors. This is why every small business owner needs to create a plan and dedicate the resources necessary to implement it. Luckily, SMBs and startups can rely on our comprehensive risk assessment, penetration testing, and vulnerability management solutions to help them reduce the risk of cyberattacks and meet compliance standards.