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Reports of major data breaches that emerge once in a while should serve as a wake-up call to small companies which don’t invest in data security. Hackers rarely target large organizations which have sophisticated cyber security measures in place. Instead, they opt for easy-to-compromise computer systems of small and mid-sized business. It’s simple – their limited resources allocated to data security make them an easy target.
Here are 5 tips to help you protect your data from hackers and fully secure your small business operations from being compromised by cybercriminals.
1. Implement a security service suite
Safeguarding data isn’t only about doing regular backups. It’s also about protecting it against viruses, malware or intrusion attempts.
That’s why you should install a solid hardware firewall. Contrary to software firewalls, this appliance-based firewall will stand between the internet and your business, preventing threats from entering into your network.
Another key layer of security are anti-virus and spam filters. These are essential to protect all incoming and outgoing data.
Remember to use content filters to protect all computers in your business by blocking harmful websites and preventing your staff from accidentally downloading malware.
2. Educate your employees
You’d be surprised to learn how many breaches occur because of employee behavior.
Your staff might unintentionally hand over critical business information to a hacker. They might click on a malicious link sent through email or give this data to a cybercriminal posing as a reputable person who needs this information.
Educate employees about security and show them how to protect themselves when accessing company network from their personal devices.
Virtual private networks are a great solution here. Check out this VPN reviews on Secure Thoughts blog to choose the right VPN service and help your employees to install it on their devices.
3. Pick the right technologies
A firewall is your first step. Then come the passwords – sometimes it’s a good idea to opt for a two-factor authentication, especially for accessing sensitive information.
Choose quality cyber-protection software that will search for viruses and malware on your website. It will also control the situation as your employees browse the web.
Make sure to regularly update your technologies – otherwise you risk becoming a victim to a serious data breach.
4. Consider server virtualization
Small businesses often virtualize their servers in search for cost reduction. Server virtualization allows one physical server machine to run a number of virtual server environments – it can be your email, web server, or database.
When one server performs the work of many, you can focus on protecting it with all your resources.
Apart from the obvious security benefits, server virtualization also makes disaster recovery much easier. Have a look at this step-by-step guide to get a better idea about server virtualization.
5. Develop a disaster preparedness plan
Many small businesses never recover from a disaster.
Your business data is extremely valuable, there’s no doubt about it. But you should have a solid plan in place that will help you to protect your business operations and employees in case a disaster happens.
Create a plan of action to reduce the impact of disasters and a special recovery plan to make sure that you’re ready to continue your business as quickly as possible.
Check out this Small Business Emergency Preparedness Guide prepared by the US Small Business Administration to make your first steps towards developing your own recovery plan.
Use these 5 tips and you’ll be on your way to efficiently protecting your company data from cybercriminals who lurk around the web in search of security holes that allow them access to sensitive business data.