It can be hard to find great cyber security tips for small businesses. Most articles assume that you already have an IT staff or cyber security team on the payroll. But what if you, as the business owner, are responsible for keeping your own business and website safe and secure?

The ideal solution for a small business is a complete managed website security package. For an affordable monthly fee, you don’t need to worry about any aspect of cyber security. The experts at CyberAlpha take care of everything, so you can focus on running your business.

In today’s article, we’ll give you our five top cyber security tips for small businesses.

1. Keep Everything Up To Date

A decade ago, cyber security tips for small businesses would have focused on two things: computers and networks.

As we enter the 2020s, mobile computing and the “Internet of Things” have changed the game. Keeping your business safe means you now have to pay attention to:

  • Smartphones
  • Apps
  • Tablets
  • GPS
  • Web cameras
  • Smart doors/locks/alarms

Anything that is connected to the internet offers a hacker a way to target you. As the Deloitte paper Cyber risk in an Internet of Things world explains: “constant connectivity and data sharing also creates new opportunities for information to be compromised”.

It’s essential to keep everything secure. That means all your smart devices need to be:

  • Up to date
  • Running the latest software
  • Using strong passwords (see below)
  • Only accessible to the right members of staff

2. Passwords & Encryption

When you run your own business, it’s easy to overlook things like passwords. We have so many devices, so many accounts… It’s tempting to make one of these two serious mistakes:

  1. Using the same password for everything to make it easy to remember
  2. Using lots of different, complicated passwords but writing them down somewhere unsafe

Mistake 1 means that with one hack, a cyber attacker can access everything. Mistake 2 means that you have a physical security issue. Someone could see (or steal) your passwords without even getting into your computer.

We would recommend using a password manager. If you’d like to know more, get in touch and one of our experts can give you some advice.

3. Have A Strategy

The Federal Communications Commission made this point in their Cybersecurity for Small Business paper:

Broadband and information technology are powerful factors in small businesses reaching new markets and increasing productivity and efficiency. However, businesses need a cybersecurity strategy to protect their own business, their customers, and their data from growing cybersecurity threats.

Even if you just run a small business, it’s essential to have some sort of strategy. If you just hope for the best, at some stage you will find your business compromised. This can lead to huge financial and reputational damage. Think about:

  • Backing up files (ideally in the cloud and on external drives)
  • Disaster recovery plans – even down to the level of what you’d do if you lost your phone or laptop
  • Inductions, training and staff procedure manuals (see below)

4. Training & Communication

Most cyber security problems these days actually come from human error:

  • Weak passwords
  • Falling for phishing attacks
  • Physical security blunders (leaving a laptop unattended in a coffee shop)
  • Accidentally downloading malware

As such, it’s really important to keep your staff well informed. We have a whole article on How To Educate Your Employees On Cybersecurity Awareness which you may find useful.

At the very least, make sure that new starters have a proper cyber security induction. And, of course, when staff leave, make sure that their access and privileges are immediately removed.

5. Think Before You Click

Running a small business is stressful. You’re constantly rushing from one task to the next. Your inbox never seems to get clear.

This is exactly what cyber criminals are looking for! When you’re busy, stressed or tired, you’re more likely to make silly mistakes. That email claiming to be from the bank… That pop up claiming to be from your internet service provider… That instant message claiming to be from your employee…

Be careful! Any of those could be a hacker trying to get you to open a malicious attachment or click on a suspicious link. This is especially true in the age of coronavirus. As a result, we put together an article especially about the rise of phishing attacks during the pandemic.

In conclusion, if you’re concerned about cyber security for your small business, please get in touch. After that, one of our experts will be able to discuss all your options for managed website security.