Expert’s insight into most cost-effective cybersecurity practices
Highly effective cybersecurity practices that require little to no investment.
Cybersec expert breaks down the biggest cybersecurity risks for small businesses and gives advice on how to mitigate them
Small businesses and start-ups are prime targets for cybercriminals because of their strong focus and resource allocation to product development and avenues that produce growth. While these practices are great for business development, they leave security on the sidelines and risk jeopardizing business operations in the case of an incident.
“While growing your business should definitely be a priority, forgetting about cybersecurity can end in grave consequences. Startups do not need to invest in the most advanced software, as they are not targeted with the most advanced malware, but they should employ at least a few low-maintenance practices that will keep them protected from the most common types of attacks,” says Oliver Noble, a cybersecurity expert at NordLocker.
Below, Oliver Noble outlines easy-to-implement and highly effective cybersecurity practices that require little to no investment.
Train your employees
Countering attacks before they even happen is much cheaper than dealing with their aftermath. Therefore, decent knowledge about the most common types of threats is one of the main cornerstones of organizational cybersecurity. With the human element playing a part in a whopping 82% of cybersecurity incidents, proper knowledge on how to identify and deal with threats can have a profound impact on your company’s cybersecurity.
“The use of psychological manipulation in attacks such as phishing is the most common way for hackers to get access to private information. Preaching situational awareness and instructing employees to avoid following links in emails and downloading file attachments altogether, unless they are from a verified source, goes a long way with little resources required, ” says Oliver Noble.
Keep your software up to date
While software updates might seem unnecessary and consume precious time, they are a free way to patch gaps in your cybersecurity. Software updates are there to make the experience better, safer, and more efficient and fix security loopholes that protect your data before hackers learn how to exploit those vulnerabilities.
Back up and encrypt your files
File backup is a fundamental cybersecurity practice and is worth the additional investment because in the unfortunate case of an attack, you will always have a copy of your files ready to go, and the sudden loss of files won’t impede your business operations. However, the most important and confidential files should be encrypted so that no one can get access to them in the first place.
Oliver Noble recommends the following backup practices to make sure your business does not come to a halt:
Back up your data regularly or set up automatic backups in your device’s settings menu so your information is always protected.
Use an encrypted cloud for confidential data storage to avoid mishaps and protect your files from prying eyes. Encryption turns your data into uncrackable codes that even skilled hackers can’t read without your permission.
Secure your network
“Your work network is arguably one of the biggest liabilities that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals. By connecting to a Wi-Fi network that is poorly protected, you are exposing your data, such as browsing history and passwords, to anyone with basic knowledge of hacking,” says Oliver Noble.
To protect your network, Noble recommends:
Don’t access business files from public Wi-Fi, as it provides zero security. Therefore, anything you are doing online is easily accessible to anyone with the right set of skills. However, if working from a coffee shop or the airport is unavoidable, make sure to use a VPN, which encrypts your internet traffic and prevents anyone from snooping.
Make sure your office/home Wi-Fi is properly secured. It is vital to invest in a high-quality, firewall-equipped router that has a strong focus on security. And of course, make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi password.