Is Your Growing Business Secure? 6 Cybersecurity Best PracticesJune 8, 2022
Starting your own small business is already very challenging, but it will get even more complex as it grows. You have to think about scalability and how it will affect your overall business sustainability. This will include the tough questions you have to ask yourself about your operations, your employees, and the tools and solutions you use to keep thriving in your industry.
One thing that might not be at the top of your mind as all the other essential things on your list is cybersecurity. Unfortunately, however, growing businesses like yours are more vulnerable to cybercrimes. In fact, small and medium-sized companies are three times more likely to be targeted by cyberattacks than larger organizations.
So, if you’re scaling your business, ensure safety and security measures are in place. Here are 6 cybersecurity best practices that you can implement:
Document Your Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures
While growing businesses like yours sometimes rely on word of mouth and gut instinct, cybersecurity is one area where it is critical to record your procedures.
If no one in your company has a full grasp of cybersecurity, there are always outside resources that you can take advantage of. For example, the Cybersecurity portal of the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers online training, checklists, and information for protecting online businesses.
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency also has a ton of resources and actionable guides that will help you start implementing better cybersecurity practices.
Create Sound Cybersecurity Operational Strategies
Operational plans or live documents that adapt to your company’s growth and evolving cyber trends can also assist in enhancing your defenses, in addition to the rules and regulations you’ve already laid out.
An operational strategy should allow you to prioritize both your short- and long-term cyber security plans and budgets and the implementation of new systems, increased business volume, and the hiring of new staff and suppliers.
Should a cybercrime arise, have an incident response plan that includes employees that should be notified and involved, locations of where data and data backups are stored, and the process of contacting law enforcement, legal, vendors, and clients.
If you’re a tech company, now’s the best time to integrate DevSecOps to incorporate security into every process.
Be Consistent With Employee Training
Do you know who your first line of defense is against cyberattacks? Your employees, of course! However, human error is also one of the top reasons why data breaches happen in the first place. These include device theft, social engineering such as phishing, weak passwords, forgoing regular backups, and using outdated software.
Therefore, you must conduct cybersecurity best practices and risk factor training for your team members on a quarterly or biannual basis. Cybersecurity will only work if you make sure everyone in the company is well-trained, in sync, and continuously practicing security procedures. A single mistake by a poorly trained individual can sometimes bring a whole security system crashing down.
Keep Your Software Updated
Aside from the standard security measures such as installing anti-virus and anti-malware software and securing email accounts, another practice that shouldn’t be overlooked is updating your security software.
There are three reasons why software updates are provided:
- To furnish new features
- To patch known flaws
- To improve security
Sure, we all know that updates appear at the most inconvenient of times, but there are few things more difficult in life than scrambling for a way out of a cyberattack. So as often as you can, patch your vulnerabilities by updating your software.
Regularly Backup Your Data
While it’s critical to avoid as many cyberattacks as possible, you can still be hacked despite your best efforts.
Back up your documents such as electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial information, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Don’t forget to make a backup of all the data you saved in the cloud.
In the event of a fire or flood, make sure that there are backups kept somewhere else. Check your backup frequently to ensure that it is working correctly and that you have the most recent backup if you ever need it.
Constantly Monitor Your IT Network
It’s challenging to detect odd changes or new system behaviors that might suggest a cyber risk or attack without insight into your IT network’s activity. Cyberthreat monitoring gives you the information you need to keep track of and spot abnormalities.
Consider employing an independent business that can provide you with threat alerts if possible. Some companies will even give your security recommendations that are simple to understand and act on.
Protect Your Growing Business From Cyber Threats
One small cyberattack is enough to put a business to its knees. However, all the best practices listed above can go a long way in saving your growing business from threats that can cause you millions of dollars.
For more business tips and tech news, don’t miss an article from CloudCow.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat Sarmiento is a Molecular Biology Scientist turned Growth Marketing Scientist. During her free time, she loves to write articles that will bring delight, empower women, and spark the business mind. She loves to bake but unfortunately, baking doesn’t love her back. She has many things in her arsenal and writing is one of her passion projects.