6 Cybersecurity Tips for Business Owners
Date: August 2023
By: Ayanda Khumalo
As a business owner, you enjoy freedom and control over your business success. As much as being your boss is great, the reality is that your responsibilities extend beyond maximising revenues, profits, cash flow, and long-term net worth.
You also have the responsibility for protecting your business from cyber risks and in most cases without the support of an in-house IT department. As a result, you may find yourself vulnerable to various threats lurking in the digital landscape.
In this article, we will explore the importance of cybersecurity for business owners and provide practical tips to help you protect your business from potential threats. By understanding the risks and implementing preventive measures, you can focus on growing your business without worrying about the aftermath of a security incident.
What is Really at Stake?
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses in South Africa has been identified as cybercrime, due to insufficient security measures.
The South African economy is estimated to lose R2.2 billion yearly to cybercrime, which mostly targets people and small businesses, according to estimates from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
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Some of the potential risks you could be exposed to are ransomware attacks that lock you out of your business files, including cloud storage. Theft and potential leak of sensitive files, including personally identifiable information.
Account takeover through password theft or brute force techniques leads to phishing attacks or business email compromise. Malware is designed to steal login credentials to your corporate bank account and drain funds.
How to Strengthen Your Business’s Cybersecurity:
Here are the SIX tips to help you protect your business from potential cyber threats:
- Back up your business-critical data: Identify important data and choose a reliable backup solution. Cloud storage options like OneDrive or Google Drive offer automatic backups without the need for hardware investment. Consider additional backups on removable hard drives for extra security.
- Install anti-malware software: Select a reputable anti-malware product and ensure all devices, including PCs, are covered. Keep automatic updates enabled to stay protected against the latest threats.
- Keep software up to date: Regularly update operating systems and software to their latest versions. Enable automatic updates to benefit from the latest security patches.
- Maintain strong account security: Use strong, unique passwords stored in a password manager. Enable two-factor authentication whenever available to reduce the risk of phishing and password-related attacks.
- Secure your mobile devices: Keep software up to date, install security software, and only download apps from official app stores. Use strong passcodes or biometric authentication methods to lock your devices and enable remote tracking and wiping in case of loss or theft.
- Prepare for incidents: Develop an incident response plan that outlines the IT services your business relies on and includes a list of contacts for emergencies. Keep a physical copy of the plan accessible in case systems go offline.
In closing, Cybercriminals are out to destroy your reputation, financial stability, and productivity. By implementing basic cybersecurity measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to opportunistic adversaries.
As a business owner you need to be aware of any potential dangers your business might be faced with and ensure that you implement proactive measures in protecting your business, and remember that by investing in cybersecurity, you can focus on building your business without the burden of dealing with security incidents.
For more information on how you can protect yourself, your business, and your information from these threats with advanced and world-class security you can contact us. Our team is ready to assist you.