5 Easy Steps Small Businesses Can Take to Improve Cybersecurity During Lockdown
By Matt Brennan
Major data breaches are finding their way into the news all the time. Major retailers, credit, and finance companies have had major difficulty safeguarding customer data. Some companies may have limited resources to protect themselves from cyberattacks, but during the lockdown, you may find yourself with more time.
Below are 5 easy steps businesses can take to improve cybersecurity during the lockdown.
Change Passwords for Everything – From email platforms to accounting software, to system logins, you’d be surprised how many different platforms, and therefore passwords, businesses and their employees are entering in a given day. Go through every online platform or piece of software that you may have an account with, and change the passwords. This is a step that can be repeated either every three months or six months for optimal security.
Perform Regular Software Updates – Every time a computer, security system, mobile application, or a piece of software offers an update, it should be completed. Any connection online is vulnerable to being hacked, and one of the highest vulnerabilities is in out of date software.
The very purpose of many of these updates is to reduce vulnerability. Therefore the safest thing you can do is to complete them as soon as they are available.
Use a Password Manager – A password manager can help select unique and secure passwords for every site you use and keep track of them for you. It has the added benefit of simplifying this part of the security process for your employees. Many of these programs allow you to securely share passwords with employees as needed.
Delete Unused Accounts – How many times have you or an employee signed up for an account on a platform that you no longer use? These accounts become another way for hackers to gain access to sensitive information. If you’re not actively using a social media or software account, the best thing you can do is to delete it, so that hackers won’t have another way in.
Use Two-Factor Authentication – It may seem like an unnecessary burden at the time, but the sites that ask you to enter the passcode that’s been texted to your phone are the most secure. This added step enhances the security of the site and protects the user’s personal information. It’s relatively easy to activate, it’s only a minor inconvenience, and it’s highly effective at keeping information protected.
Consider VPNs – Open networks with generic and limited security measures become easy to hack for someone with the right experience. A virtual private network (VPN) offers added security, especially if employees might be connecting through public WiFi services.
These Are Steps That Can Be Implemented to Improve Cybersecurity During the Lockdown
Not every small business has the budget to spend tens of thousands on security, and that’s understandable. But taking some simple and affordable steps to safeguard information can decrease the chances of a successful cyberattack. Here are a few additional steps that will take minimal effort on your part:
- Empower your front-line employees to be able to identify and notify you of cybersecurity threats so that proper actions can be taken.
- Update your system to require password changes either every three months, six months, or annually.
- Set your operating systems to perform automatic updates. This will prevent busy employees from putting these updates off for long periods of time.
When you take these added security steps, you can better protect the information that’s vitally important to you, your customers, and the success of your business. This will help you to improve cybersecurity during the lockdown.