7 Online Security Tips for Small Businesses

The rise in cyberattacks against businesses makes it more important than ever to keep your systems secure. For many small businesses without in-house know-how, this can seem an uphill challenge. To help, here are some useful tips to keep your business protected from a range of the most important threats.

1. Take out insurance

Cyber liability insurance is now available for businesses and most policies cover first and third-party financial losses resulting from an attack. They may also cover the cost of reputational damage caused by data breaches. With cyberattacks costing small businesses an average of around £8,200, taking out insurance could be a wise decision that, if the worst happens, prevents your venture from going under.

2. Backup your data regularly

Backing up your data regularly so that you always have an up-to-date copy is essential if you want your business to recover quickly from cyberattacks that corrupt, destroy or block you from accessing data.

Of particular note here is ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts your data and for which you need to pay a significant ransom fee to the cybercriminals to get a decryption key and restore access. In situations like this, a backup means you won’t need to pay the criminals as you already have another copy of your data to restore your system. With gangs attempting to attack almost half of all UK organisations last year, a remote backup solution that also encrypts data and verifies its integrity is the most effective way to recover swiftly from a wide range of cyberattacks.

3. Beef up your logins

Two-factor authentication is now a widely used login protocol that requires users not only to input a username and password, but also a code sent to their phones. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain to keep doing this, but it is far less painful than becoming the victim of an attack. It is also highly secure. Unless the cybercriminal has access to your mobile phone, they’ll be unable to see the additional code and as this only works for a few minutes, they won’t have time to guess it before it changes.

That said, even with two-factor authentication, users should still use complex passwords. If you cannot remember them, then use a password manager that will do this for you.

4. Update software asap

As firms rely on more and more software for their websites and business systems, they can be bombarded with notifications reminding them to update to new versions. While it can be a burden to keep software up to date, failing to do so puts your business at risk. Many of those updates will have been created to fix security vulnerabilities discovered in the software and if you don’t update, your website or system is left open to attackers. – Read more

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