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7 Ways to Improve Data Safety and Security for Your Small Business

7 Ways to Improve Data Safety and Security for Your Small Business

Did you know that small businesses are more likely to be victims of data breaches than large companies? Security can play a big part in how your customers perceive your business. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re on track to improve your small business’s security and safety. Here are seven ways to get yourself going.

Penetration Testing

In the cyber world, penetration testing is a simulated cyberattack conducted by security professionals against computer systems and applications to find vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. It’s important to have comprehensive penetration tests because hackers continually find new ways to exploit weaknesses in systems. To do a pen test, you should consider hiring a recommendable cyber security company to ensure the safety and security of your data and assets.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is a method of authenticating a user or employee by using two or more factors to prove their identity.

  • 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) provides additional security by requiring the user to enter information after entering their username and password—usually an email address or mobile phone number. The second form of authentication could also be responding to an email sent to the user after entering their username and password.
  • 3-Factor Authentication (3FA): In addition to requiring both a username/password and a secondary form of identification such as an email address or phone number, 3FA involves using smart cards, tokens, and biometrics for users to access your systems.

Cloud Security

Next, make sure you fully understand the security measures in place for your cloud provider. Some “providers” act as a bridge to carry data from your business to another cloud provider, which can be a problem if you’re unaware of what’s going on. Make sure you understand who is handling the security and storage of your data so you can properly vet them.

Cybersecurity Education and Training Programs

You can opt for a free program that includes courses on phishing, password security, and other topics. Some paid programs offer a more in-depth approach to cybersecurity education and training. Remember that your employees are the most vulnerable entry point into your business network. No matter what you put in place, hackers can still find their way in if your employees don’t know how to protect themselves.

It’s recommended to provide at least one hour of cybersecurity education per employee each year to be aware of current threats and learn new ways to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

Do Regular Security Checks on Your Network and Connected Devices

Keeping your network, devices, and data safe requires constant vigilance. Plan regular security checks that ensure everything is running smoothly and reinforce best practices with your employees. The frequency of these checks depends on the size of your network. But it’s recommended to check at least once a week. You’ll want to check daily if you have a more significant business or complicated system. Even if you only have one computer and tablet linked to the internet, you should regularly check for viruses or spyware.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance can help your company recover from financial losses due to a data breach. Some policies will also cover costs for incident response, legal fees, and regulatory fines. There is a wide range of options, so do some research to find the type of coverage that is right for you.

Use a Firewall

Firewalls can either be software or hardware. It protects your network by allowing only trusted traffic to pass through while filtering out the rest. Firewalls are the first line of defense in keeping your network safe, but it’s important to remember that they don’t offer 100% protection against all threats. Businesses with a firewall should ensure it is appropriately configured to maximize its effectiveness and keep their data safe.

Closing Thoughts

Both your business and clients are valuable, and the last thing you want is to compromise either through negligence. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that nothing will happen to you because of your size or remote location. Even if you’re a sole proprietor, your business could still be in danger. Let these seven tips serve as a reminder to small businesses to stay safe and secure.

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by Tracie Johnson // Tracie Johnson is a New Jersey native and an alum of Penn State University. She is passionate about writing, reading, and living a healthy lifestyle. She feels happiest when around a campfire surrounded by friends, family, and her Dachshund named Rufus.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.