Managing your cybersecurity can feel daunting as a small business owner. We’ve all heard horror stories of criminals physically stealing stock, money and office equipment, but even more so these days about how companies are targeted online too. Rinsed bank accounts, stolen data and fraud are all seriously bad news for any business, let alone when you’re just getting started and established.

Having the right online security systems in place will help you to save time, money and even your business’ reputation- things like stolen customer data leading to fraud, for example, can be challenging to overcome. Keep in mind the information below to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime in your business. 

Get your head in the cloud

Using cloud based solutions is an effective way to keep your information safe. Cloud systems are encrypted for safety and means that instead of being stored on a hard drive that you own your information is stored online. This is helpful as if your physical computers are stolen, there’s no sensitive information stored on them.

Viruses attacking your computer will also come up blank since the information isn’t stored here. Cloud backup and storage has a variety of uses; you can use it for everything from saving files to email archive, the best thing to do is think about what sort of systems are best suited to the company you run. Shop around different cloud-based providers and see what they’re able to offer you and at what price. 

Always use a separate network when it comes to finances

Separating the various elements of your business is known as ‘micro-segmentation’, and it can dramatically help to prevent cybercrime. Take your payment terminal network from your general store, for example, having this on a completely separate network can massively reduce the likelihood of a successful online attack taking place. Frequently, cybercriminals can get into your system through things like infected emails to your employees, stealing the access data for your network and being able to get right into your payment terminal.

Keeping this separate, and having just one or two senior staff members with access means the success of an attack is significantly minimized. Having these things separated means that criminals need to work a lot harder to gain access, there’s more chance they will give up which is how security often works. Even when things aren’t completely foolproof, putting extra barriers in the way can be enough to put them off and protect your business. 

Consider the passwords you’re using

It’s surprisingly easy to hack passwords. This is because of simple psychologies and patterns that many of us follow. We tend to use specific words and combinations that cybercriminals will know to try, have a look at the most common passwords and see if yours is one of them. You might think you’re being unique but it’s not always the case!. In some cases, the password on the system might not have been changed from standard making access very easy.

Use random letter and number combinations, punctuation and upper and lowercase letters. Changing usernames and passwords every few months can also be a proactive way to prevent against crime, the longer a password remains the same, the higher the chance of it being hacked by cybercriminals. Guessing a password might seem like the most straightforward way in, in a world where complex hacking programs exist. But it’s still a way that criminals exploit businesses every year. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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