Small Business Cybersecurity: 5 Pro Tips from Top Consultants

cybersecurity

Running a small business can be nerve-wracking. It’s because you are responsible for essential things, such as paying your taxes, your staff’s wages, and ensuring you’re making a profit. But on top of these tasks, you also need to ensure that your business won’t encounter any cybersecurity threats. 

Some businesspeople think their business is too small to be the target of cybercriminals. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Cybercriminals also like to target small businesses because they usually lack the IT infrastructure of larger companies.    

Facing cyberattacks can have a detrimental impact on your company. In particular, it can create reputational damage to your business, leading to a loss of customers, sales loss, and a reduction in profits. Hence, it’s vital to implement cybersecurity measures for your company. Although cybersecurity is costly, they are worth the investment as it can prevent reputational damage to your business. 

With that said, below are tips from the top cybersecurity consultants that can help improve your cybersecurity and keep your data safe:

1. Employ Security Operations Center

A security operations center (SOC) is a centralized IT department that monitors, investigates, detects, and responds to several cybersecurity attacks and threats a business may face. The SOC constantly checks the business network for threats and vulnerabilities to mitigate them before they become critical problems. Moreover, they use cybersecurity quality operation tools and strategies, such as breach and instruction detection, security information and event management, probes, and firewalls. 

Whether in-house, outsourced, or in the cloud, having a dedicated SOC is an excellent way to protect your business against cyberattacks and data breaches. It provides you with multiple SOC benefits, including continuous protection, reduced cybersecurity costs, and improved business reputation.   

Note that cyberattacks don’t just occur during standard business hours. It’s common for cybercriminals to execute their attacks on weekends or after working hours when no one is monitoring them to increase their probability of success. 

But fortunately, an efficient SOC team continuously monitors your business data and IT infrastructure. And since it provides continuous protection, the SOC provides an efficient cybersecurity response. Moreover, SOC enables you to reduce cybersecurity costs by mitigating risks like data breaches and avoiding penalties due to violations of data security regulations.

2. Train Team Members for Cybersecurity

cybersecurity

Cybersecurity awareness training for team members is another preventive measure you should consider to make your business cyber-safe. It’s a training that aims to educate your staff regarding cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities. This training allows them to recognize cybersecurity threats when working online with computer systems. 

Since human error is the primary cause of security breaches, training your staff to recognize common cybersecurity threats is worth considering. It helps reduce the chances of cybercriminals accessing your business’s sensitive information. On top of that, considering that customers are increasingly aware of cybersecurity threats, providing awareness training to your team members also helps you gain customer trust.  

In particular, cybersecurity awareness training includes internet security training, email security training, and information sharing procedures training. Fortunately, there are free online training courses available to keep your team members updated with the latest cybersecurity issues. But apart from that, you can consider enrolling your staff in specialized cybersecurity programs. These programs can provide in-depth knowledge and the necessary skills to protect your business against cybersecurity issues.

3. Do Regular Data Backup  

On top of implementing preventive measures to protect your business against cybercriminals, you also need to have an adequate strategy for mitigating data loss. Data recovery is critical to securing your company’s sensitive information. Thus, performing a regular data backup is a must. It’s an excellent strategy to protect your business against data loss.

Data backup involves copying your business’s critical information from primary sources and adding them to a secondary location to secure against data loss. This strategy is essential for companies as data loss can damage your reputation and can result in severe disruption of your business operations.     

In case of cyberattacks or an emergency, having backed-up copies of your business data and being able to restore it to its original location can help you avoid significant loss of profits. And the good news is that there are several ways to perform a data backup. For instance, you can store your data using cloud storage or online backup services. Cloud backups are ideal solutions for small businesses that want to ensure their critical data is accessible in case of cyberattacks or data disaster strikes.

4. Keep Your Software Up-To-Date 

Updating your software is another way to keep your business cyber-safe. No matter how well-coded or well-designed developers create a particular software, note that no system or software is flawless. For that reason, developers continuously look for security issues in their software to update or patch these vulnerabilities. 

The longer you delay updating your business software, the more likely cybercriminals will prey upon your business. And once they exploit the issues in your outdated software, they may access your systems using valid accounts and cause severe damage to management systems. So, you must keep your software up-to-date to avoid this problem and ensure tightened security in your business.

5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

A multi-factor authentication system is another way to protect your business data from cyber theft. It’s an authentication procedure that requires you to provide two or more independent credentials to verify your identity and be able to access an online account or application. This authentication is an additional layer of security beyond the basic credentials like username and password. 

Should these credentials get exposed, you and your customers’ information remain secure behind separate access controls. Simply put, the role of multi-factor authentication is to make it difficult for an unauthorized party to access a network, computer device, or database.   

Accordingly, multi-factor authentication can help enhance your business’s cybersecurity by requiring clients or users to identify themselves by multiple verification factors. As a result, it enables you to protect your critical data, maintain your business reputation, and improve customer experience.

Conclusion on Cybersecurity

All in all, cybersecurity is essential for businesses as it protects data from hackers or threats. Keeping your business safe against cybersecurity attacks should be one of your primary tasks as a business owner. Without proper cybersecurity practices, your business is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fortunately, with the tips above in mind, your small business can avoid further damage caused by potential cybersecurity threats.

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How to Become Financially Stable Before Creating a Startup

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Eliminating debt before creating a startup isn’t easy. In fact, some business owners may have a harder time achieving their goals without a decent safety net. In the end, becoming financially stable and achieving success requires that you build good habits and become disciplined.

9 Habits to Develop to be Financially Stable and Have Success

If you want to reduce your revolving debt or cut back on bad financial habits before starting a business, we’re here to help.

Here’s how to develop true financial stability and success.

1. Save Up for an Emergency Fund in a Separate Account

Open up an online bank account and start funneling money into it as soon as possible. Most business owners will keep 6 months worth of income in a savings account just in case things don’t work out. To make this process easy, set up an automatic transfer weekly or monthly.

2. Start Seeing the Value in Insurance and Building Credit

A good credit score can help you get approved for loans and other forms of lending, whereas insurance can protect your business from lawsuits and financial fallout. To benefit from both, you need to pay into them. However, it makes sense to invest in preventative business measures.

3. Control Your Impulse Spending as Quickly as Possible

The average American makes 12 impulsive purchases each month, which totals to $276 a month in wasted money. Unless you want to spend $3,312 a year on things you don’t need, start monitoring your spending with a bank app. That way, you’ll keep tabs on what goes in and out.

4. Create a Budget, Evaluate Expenses, and Live Frugally

Living frugally isn’t easy in 2022, but there are still a few ways you can reduce what you spend. Take a look at your monthly expenses and cut out what you don’t need. If you want to challenge yourself, consider trying a One Month Saving Challenge, like the “No Spend.” 

5. Invest into Retirement Savings Accounts in Your 20s

financially-stable

Young business owners may not think about retirement much, but you shouldn’t wait to invest. If you start in your 20s, you could save thousands of dollars more than you otherwise would have if you began in your 30s. Plus, you’ll reduce your taxes if you pay into a 401(k) or Roth IRA.

6. Focus on Keeping You and Your Family Secured First

Money management is all about setting your priorities. Always commit to paying yourself first, whether that means you’re building up a rainy day fund or setting money aside for your son’s soccer camp. Consider purchasing life insurance if you have a spouse or dependents.

7. Eliminate and Avoid Debt (Specifically Bad Debt)

Some debt is considered acceptable, like mortgages and business loans. However, if you’re using your credit cards recklessly and incurring debt because of it, stop doing so. Focus on paying down your debts, even if it takes several years because being debt-free is rewarding.

8. Pay Your Bills Immediately or Set Up Automatic Payments

It’s essential to pay your bills on time. Not only does this habit help reduce your debt, but it can eliminate your late fees. If you forget to pay your bills, set up automatic payments. But, if you aren’t paying your bills because they’re too expensive, consider switching service providers.

9. Learn More About Personal and Business Finances

Since you’re reading this article, you’ve already completed this step. Still, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about finances. The more you educate yourself, the more financially stable you will be. Plus, if you bill these important habits now, you’ll have a higher chance of succeeding in your business.

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