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Published on September 23rd, 2022 📆 | 8406 Views ⚑

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Small businesses need a cybersecurity plan, too.


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43% of all data breaches involve small and medium businesses. Small businesses need a robust cybersecurity plan, as cyber attackers often target them, assuming their cybersecurity strategy will be weak.

So, how can small businesses reinforce their cybersecurity strategy?

Keep reading for the ultimate guide to small business security. This guide will help you build a security strategy that will help you meet GDPR compliance and avoid a data breach.

Train Your Employees On Data Protection Policies

Human error is one of the leading causes of data breaches. Experiencing a data breach can put your company’s reputation in the balance and cause significant financial losses. It’s in your best interest to provide employees with adequate training on data protection policies, eliminating the risk of human error leading to a data breach.

Your employees need to know about your data protection policies, and you should teach them about GDPR and the expectations they must meet to ensure compliance.

When you train your employees on data protection policies, you should also cover the following cybersecurity topics:

  • Password creation – you should instruct your employees on the importance of setting unique passwords for each company account. Your data protection training should also cover how to create strong passwords and why weak passwords create vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity strategy.
  • Software updates – you should train your employees to regularly update any software on their devices. If they are operating with older software versions, this could put your data at risk. Older software versions often have vulnerabilities not present in newer versions of the software, and a cybercriminal may take advantage of this vulnerability to access your data.
  • How to spot phishing scams – malware attacks and phishing scams are the main factors that lead to human error, causing a cybersecurity breach. You should train your employees to spot phishing scams and malware attacks. You should also cover the importance of not sharing any sensitive information with an unverified source.

Install A Firewall

Firewalls are an invaluable element in any cybersecurity strategy. Without a firewall, traffic can enter your network freely without any checks or safety measures. A firewall acts as a barrier around your network, monitoring the incoming and outgoing traffic to ensure that only trusted sources are allowed to access your network. Since small businesses are often more vulnerable to cyberattacks, investing in a firewall is necessary, as it provides your network with an additional layer of protection.

Encrypt Your Company Data

In addition to securing your network with a firewall, you must also consider the benefit of encrypting your company data. Encryption is where your company data is scrambled and made unreadable to those who do not have the cipher to decode the information. So, even if a cyber attacker managed to get past your firewall and access company data successfully, the information they accessed would be unreadable and thus useless – protecting your business from breaking GDPR compliance.

Ensure Employees Use A VPN When Working Remotely

Many small businesses are implementing remote working models to give their employees a better work-life balance while improving productivity. However, with remote work comes the fear of data exposure from compromised employee networks and devices.

To ensure remote working does not interfere with your data security, you should implement a policy that requires employees to use a VPN when accessing company information from home. A VPN makes it more difficult for cyber attackers to find your employees’ IP addresses, allowing them more anonymity online. It also creates an encrypted tunnel through which your data travels when you send and receive information. Implementing a VPN can reduce data vulnerability when employees work remotely.

Implement A Zero-Trust Cyber And Physical Security Strategy

Zero-trust is a cybersecurity policy designed to not only protect government organizations but also businesses from the threat of an internal security breach. Should an employee device or network become compromised, a cyber attacker may be able to gain access to a wide range of company data. However, with a zero-trust policy in place, your employee will only gain access and permissions for the data they need to carry out daily tasks. So, even if their device or account is breached, the hacker will only gain access to a limited amount of information.

Zero-trust isn’t just for your cybersecurity policy, either. If a visitor, interviewee, or contractor enters your office building, does this mean they should be able to access your server rooms and rooms housing sensitive data? 

You need to enforce your cybersecurity policies regarding physical security and ensure that your server rooms are protected from internal and external threats to data security. You can install cloud-based card access control systems on areas housing servers and devices that host sensitive company information, protecting your data from physical and digital threats.

If you converge your cybersecurity with physical security and also implement cloud security, you are giving your business the best protection from any potential threats.

Summary

Small businesses aren’t immune to cybersecurity threats. Cyber Attackers often target them assuming that their cybersecurity strategy will be weak. By implementing these cybersecurity strategy tips, you can ensure your data is protected and avoid the consequences of breaking GDPR compliance regulations.

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