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Secure Your Small Business: 5 Smart Ways to Enhance Cybersecurity in 2024

Believe that only large corporations are targeted by cyberattacks? Think again. Businesses with less than 1,000 employees are victims of nearly half of all cyberattacks. The consequences are severe, with small and medium-sized businesses losing an average of $25,000 in these attacks. To make matters worse, around 60% of small businesses that fall victim to cyberattacks end up shutting down within six months, according to a report from Forbes.

The impact of a cyberattack on your business can be devastating, but there is some good news. Most cybersecurity issues, 95% to be exact, are a result of human error. This means that by educating yourself and your staff on cybersecurity, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to such attacks.

To safeguard your small business in 2024 and beyond, here are five key strategies to upgrade your cybersecurity:

1. Safeguard your data

Protecting your data is paramount. Regularly back up your data for easy recovery in the event of a cyberattack. Additionally, remember to maintain offsite AND offline backups. Limit access to customer data strictly to employees who require it for their roles.

2. Utilize the right tools

Investing in the right technological tools is essential for bolstering your business’s security. Employ malware scanners, email scanners, encryption tools, firewalls, and virtual private networks (VPNs) or secure remote access tools for employees working remotely. Implement two-factor or multi-factor authentication for users with access to critical data. Furthermore, restrict access to sensitive data to employees who genuinely require it for their work.

3. Educate employees

Human error is often the root cause of cybersecurity breaches, whether it’s weak passwords or falling victim to phishing attempts. All employees with access to your company systems should receive training on best practices for setting strong passwords, identifying common cybersecurity threats, and managing email and social accounts to prevent data breaches.

4. Keep your software updated

Neglecting software updates can leave your business vulnerable to cyberattacks. While it may seem like a minor task, software updates often include patches for bugs or vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to access your data. Stay on top of software updates, as your system’s security is only as strong as its weakest application, software program, or vendor with access to it. Ensure you use trusted and vetted software and communicate with third-party vendors who have system access to understand their cybersecurity measures.

5. Establish a response plan

In the unfortunate event of a breach, you don’t want to find yourself scrambling to respond and protect your business. Similar to having a business continuity plan for fire or natural disasters, it is crucial to have a cybersecurity response plan in place. This plan should address four essential components: identifying the compromised system(s), securing your data, restoring the system(s) as necessary, and investigating the source and method of the attack. Each of these elements is vital to enhancing your cybersecurity practices for the future and getting your business back up and running.

The statistics surrounding cybersecurity can be alarming, and understandably so. However, taking a few simple steps can go a long way in safeguarding your business and protecting your customers.

Luckily, PTS is here to help. With over 30 years of Business IT experience we are your local source for help developing and implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. For more information, or to schedule a FREE no obligation IT Evaluation, send us a message or call 706.884.4155.

PTS Computer Network Services web site administrator.