Cybersecurity is a major concern for small businesses. The methods that cybercriminals use are becoming more advanced by the day, and the impact on your business can be devastating. Threats including phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware can cripple your business’s systems, steal sensitive data, or even shut down your operations.
If your business is not protected properly, you could be at risk of major financial losses, loss of customer trust, and even legal penalties. That’s why implementing cybersecurity protocols is so crucial.
Kelly Kercher, CEO of K3 Techs, knows better than anybody that cybersecurity should be a prime concern for all business owners. He has a wealth of experience in the IT industry, and he has shared some of his top tips to help business owners avoid the common dangers that they face in the digital space.
Take a layered approach to protecting your business and employees
According to Kercher, one of the best ways to protect your business from cybersecurity threats is to take a layered approach. This means that you should have multiple layers of protection in place, each working together to keep your data and systems safe. He says that the biggest mistake people make is downloading a single piece of malware- or virus-protection software and then assuming that their cybersecurity is sorted. In reality, there are dangers from multiple sources, and you need a layered approach to sufficiently protect yourself.
Your first layer of protection should be comprehensive security software that can detect and prevent malware and other online threats. Your second layer should be firewalls, which can protect your systems from unauthorized access. Your third layer should be employee training, as employees are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. They need to be aware of the dangers that they face online and how to avoid them. Finally, you should have a data backup and recovery plan in place in case of an attack.
This layered approach will help to protect your business from a variety of cybersecurity threats, both known and unknown. It is the best way to ensure that your data is safe and your systems are secure.
Educate employees about best practices for the workplace
Of all of those different layers, Kercher stresses the importance of educating employees, as this is one area that often gets forgotten. Business owners assume that cyberattacks always happen as a result of poorly managed security software, but that isn’t the case. It can be due to weaknesses in your security, but it’s often due to human error. It might be employees clicking on malicious links in phishing emails or failing to use strong passwords when encrypting sensitive data.
Kercher says that most cyber criminals are opportunists, and they are just looking for an easy way in. They’re waiting for somebody to slip up, so they can get into your system and steal sensitive data without having to spend time cracking your firewalls. So, it’s crucial that you educate employees properly and provide refresher training on a regular basis. Important things to cover include:
- Keeping password requirements in line with current NIST password recommendations.
- Being cautious about attachments from unknown sources.
- Using strong passwords that are longer than in the past.
- Using two-factor authentication.
- Updating software on their devices immediately.
- Generally avoiding risky online behavior.
Invest in cybersecurity insurance policies
After years of experience in the industry, Kercher has learned one crucial thing: Nobody is one hundred percent safe from a cyberattack. It doesn’t matter whether you have all of the most up-to-date security software and everybody in the business follows good security practices to the letter: You could still be a victim.
When you are subject to attack, it’s all about damage limitation. That’s why Kelly Kercher’s final tip is to invest in cybersecurity insurance policies. Businesses already understand the importance of liability insurance, but many don’t realize that there are specialist policies available that cover data breaches and cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity insurance can help to cover the cost of data recovery, forensic investigations, legal fees, and credit monitoring for employees. It can also help to reimburse the business for revenue losses suffered as a result of an attack. A cyberattack can be financially crippling for a small to medium-size business. Not only does it result in lost revenue, but it also causes a loss of trust that is difficult to come back from. Without financial backing in place, a single attack could mean the end of your business. But with an insurance policy, you can survive and come out of the other side in a better position.
Kelly Kercher is an industry leader with years of experience in cybersecurity. Follow his lead and you can protect your business.
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