Small business network security: 10 Steps small business must take for cybersecurity

Small business network security is just as critical as any size organization. Protect and secure your data and ensure your business continuity with our proactive methods of business safety, top-graded data backup, network security solutions, and services giving you the reliability, accessibility, and security your business requires. Your organization can benefit from a computer network audit. Keep your business data safe: get a professional Network Security Assessment and Vulnerability analysis.

The Internet allows organizations of all sizes to have opportunities and work more efficiently by using computer technology, and cybersecurity should be an important part of the business plan. Digital theft reportedly is more common now than a physical theft. A culture of security must enhance business and consumer confidence.

To help local small businesses we regularly publish resources on IT Security Tips.

These ten tips can help business owners and executives protect their organizations – and customers – from cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity: 10 Steps for Small Business

Information technology and broadband are very strong factors in SMBs reaching new markets and growing productivity and efficiency. However, any organization needs to use proper protection tools and a cybersecurity strategy to secure its own business, its customers, and its data from growing cybersecurity threats.

1. Establish security principles in your organization.

Establish necessary training practices and define policies for all of your employees. That includes methods such as requiring strong passwords and creating (and enforcing) appropriate Internet use rules that include penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies. Establish guidelines and rules to handle and protect client data and other vital information. Make sure your employees have been educated in accordance with your security guidelines and policies.

2. Keep your technology clean and up-to-date.

Keep the latest operating system and software packages, and good, quality anti-virus program to defend your computer network against online threats such as viruses and malware. Make sure key software updates , including anti-virus, run as soon as they are available, and after each operating system update.

3. Secure your internet connection

A firewall is an integral part of a computer system or network. Firewalls are designed to prevent unauthorized incoming access to  data on a private network while allowing your communication. to go out. Your employees need to know that any external point of access such as the internet, should always be assumed not to be secure. If employees work remotely, make sure your security policy enforces them to connect to your business network or any part of your IT infrastructure only when the systems they use to gain that access are protected by a firewall.

Firewalls can be network-based or host-based.  Each type has a place in layered security approach. Different types of firewalls are designed to account for origin of communication, a point of interception and a trace. If you are not sure what type of firewall your SMB needs, arrange for a consultation with a Managed Services Provider in New Jersey – or area of your location.

4. Create a mobile security protocol

Smart devices are typical targets of cyberattacks and can create serious security and management challenges. Mobile devices security is especially important if they contain or have access to sensitive data on your business network. Require your staff to password-protect all of their mobile devices. Permissions management for applications on each device is a must. Mandate encryption of the corporate data. Install security apps to guard mobile devices from data and identity theft while using external, and especially public networks. Make sure your business has mobile device and BYOD (bring-your-own-device) use policy, and enforce it. Don’t forget to set reporting procedures for stolen or lost devices.

5. Perform regular backup for all data

Regularly backup the data on all systems in your network. Critical data can includes documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial , human resources, accounting, and other data files. Backup data automatically, and on a regularly scheduled basis. It should be done at minimum once a week. The copies should be store in a secure location either offsite or in the cloud.

6. Ensure physical security

Prevent access to your location, your computer network or use of business systems by unauthorized persons. Maintain security of mobile devices – laptops are the most common, easy and desirable targets for theft; they can also be easily lost, so make sure they are locked with a secure pin. Remember it is not only about the device, but about the data that is often being sold on a black market.

7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks

If you have a Wi-Fi network for your location, make sure it is secure, encrypted, and out of site. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router. in a way that does not broadcast the network name (Service Set Identifier – SSID). Don’t make it obvious for those who can see available networks. Always password protect access to your router.

8. Employ best practices on payment cards

Work with financial processors and banking institutions to ensure the use of most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud solutions and services. You may also have additional security obligations with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other programs and don’t use the same system to process payments that you use to browse the Internet, even if it is secured.

9. Follow the “principle of least privilege”

A principle of least, or minimal, privilege or authority means limiting user access only to essential data and limiting authority to install or uninstall the software. Do not provide any one employee with absolute access to all data and/or all systems. Users should only be given access limited to the specific information or data systems that they need for the legitimate purpose in process of performing their jobs.  None of the users should be able to install or uninstall any software without specific permission of an authorized user defined in your security policies.

10. Passwords and authentication

Require all of your employees to use unique, complex passwords. Also require all passwords to be changed regularly – at least every 90 cays.  Consider implementing multi-factor authentication, a method that requires additional information beyond one password to authorize access.

Read More Cybersecurity Tips for Small Business:

IT and cybersecurity is a critical issue. To help SMBs we have created a series of IT security articles with practical tips on how to significantly improve protection levels of your computer network and not to become a victim of cybercrime. Every organization needs to make certain their team members are educated on appropriate use, handling and protection of company data and devices.

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