10 Sept 2020
Cybersecurity practices that small-scale businesses should follow to protect themselves

    With success comes a feeling of pride and achievement. Unfortunately, increased resources is an automatic invitation for thieves looking to capitalize on any security laxes. Entrepreneurs have a notion that lack of customers, poor service and limited ability to spend on capital is what leads a company to bankruptcy. But one crucial factor they all tend to overlook is cybercrime.

    A survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance stated that at least 60 per cent of companies that find themselves become a victim of cybercrime goes out of business within six months or less. The average loss accounted for sums up to a hefty $200,000, according to a report from Hiscox, an insurance carrier.

    Without a shade of doubt, it is very evident that the sum is pretty steep for small-scale businesses, which are already reeling from the major dent caused by the pandemic. Current statistics suggest that 15 per cent of small businesses across the world have zero expectations on surviving this recession, which is of catastrophic proportions. The repercussions cannot be described in meagre words if a cyber-attack were to happen.

    Although the situation might seem dire, there is a way out of this. We have tried to sum up a few cybersecurity practices in this blog that your company can follow to protect yourself from a possible calamity

    1. Train your workforce on security and shareability protocols

    While big companies tend to hog the limelight if a cyberattack is committed to bringing down the entire ecosystem down to its knees, hackers can also exploit small-scale businesses as well. It is partly because the companies do not have the IT resources or safeguards that will help them reinforce their cybersecurity. In a 2019 Accenture study, it was found that a whopping 43 per cent of cyber-attacks are directed on small-scale businesses but only a meagre 14 per cent were capable enough to defend themselves from it. Another study conducted independently by McAfee, a leading cybersecurity firm, found out that only 30 per cent of the entire workforce receive a comprehensive cybersecurity protocol training, which is dismal, to say the least.

    As because startups run on very trimmed budgets, it is essential to establish the correct security protocols that can hold out against the major risk factors. Employee training should be prioritized without a second thought. Enlightened workers make it difficult for cyber con artists to tap into your networks and funnel your resources. Entrepreneurs or hired security expert/consultant should teach the workforce about the importance and the necessary standard operating procedure like backing up of data regularly, update software and security patches, avoid suspicious links and ignore unsolicited reports.

    With thorough training, the staff will have the ability to use multi-gateway authentication on various devices and accounts. Ultimately, well-trained employees can bring down the risk of being hacked drastically, where criminals are waiting to pounce upon sensitive information by pretending to be a client. Entrepreneurs should always be alert about the current threat trends in cybersecurity.

    2. Install a good anti-virus and anti-malware software

    As mentioned earlier, small-scale businesses run on tight budgets and often lack the basic IT expertise and resources to implement a strong and secure tech front. To cope with this, low-cost solutions that can provide the maximum impact is the way to go for small-scale businesses.

    Entrepreneurs should compulsorily install the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software that can identify threats and eliminate them without breaking a sweat. One can also turn on the necessary Microsoft and Google Security safeguards such as firewalls, browser checkup and encryption of sensitive files to protect the company’s data. Encryption renders data garbage to unauthorized trespassers and con artists, who are more inclined to attack those business fronts which have the least number of safeguards.

    Business owners should also keep their software and the operating system overall completely up-to-date. Complete drive scans should be run daily.

    Another cost-effective solution to evade online threats is installing a virtual private network solution. A VPN masks your IP address so that you can surf the internet without releasing your identity. It is harder for cybercriminals to get access to your hardware or the underlying accounts and info if they are unable to track you done. Make sure you delete unnecessary applications and software that are clogging up your storage across devices.

    There is no doubt about the fact that with the massive evolution of technology, the potential of commercial thefts is on the rise as well, thanks to the rate at which companies are digitizing their operations. Crime has evolved, and businessmen should adapt to the evolving risks they face by coming up with innovative solutions that can trump over evil tactics.