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The 7 Cybersecurity Trends Your Small Business Should Follow

It seems like every week the news breaks about another cybersecurity breach at a big company. Target, Equifax, and other massive firms have all fallen victim to hackers seeking to steal the information of their customers. But just because your business operates on a smaller scale doesn’t mean you can get away with slacking on cybersecurity. Hackers target e-commerce sites of all sizes; some go after big targets because they yield bigger results, while others prey on smaller companies because they know they’re less likely to have the right security measures in place. Luckily, the cybersecurity field is moving quickly to create solutions for small businesses. Here are 7 trends in cybersecurity you should be following to keep your data safe.

Mobile Device Action Plans

Using mobile devices internally is essential for many businesses, but it also makes them vulnerable to new attacks from hackers. Your business should have an action plan in place for all personnel, requiring them to password protect their devices, install security applications, and encrypt their data.

Secured Wi-Fi Networks

If your business has a physical location, you probably have a Wi-Fi network. If it’s for internal usage only, there’s no reason to make it visible to the public at large. Set your router so that it does not broadcast your network name and password-protect the network. If you want customers to be able to use Wi-Fi at your location, create a completely separate, open network, with no link to your secure network.

Tiered Employee Access Levels

In a perfect world, we’d be able to trust all of our employees, but sadly, that’s just not realistic, and many data leaks result from malfeasance by disgruntled or greedy employees. You can prevent this by restricting access to your data to those who need it. Set up multiple security tiers, and make sure no one employee has access to all systems.

Secure User Accounts

All users on your network should have unique password-protected accounts, and you should have software logging all of their activity. This makes it easy to trace who’s accessing data and to prevent outsiders from getting in.

Anti-Phishing Education

All it takes is one click on the wrong link to compromise the security of your network. Educate all of your employees about phishing: what to look for in phishing emails, what information never to share, and what to do if they suspect they’ve been phished.

Strong Passwords

Not only are hackers great at guessing passwords, they have software that can do it for them. Strong passwords aren’t linked to the user’s personal information, and they include special characters, numbers, and capitalizations to make it more difficult for guessing software to operate. Make sure all your accounts require strong passwords.

Backups for Everything

Cybersecurity isn’t just about keeping people out of your data, it’s about keeping it, period. You should have automatic backups set for all critical data, and if at all possible, store these backups offsite or on a cloud server, so you don’t lose your data in the case of a catastrophe.

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