A cybercrime is reported every ten minutes in Australia, and the menace has been putting the credibility and sensitive information of businesses at stake. Since more and more businesses are going digital, the threat of cybercrime is looming large over them. The number of scams taking place over the internet is going up and affecting several small businesses.
Ransomware is ajeopardisingfraud which is fleecing money from organisations and putting their existence at risk. Thus if you are planning to purchase a business for sale in Australia, then you must be aware of the sinister schemes and how to stay away from them. The federal government is also taking measures to protect small entities from the peril and has announced a funding of $1.35 billion for the next ten years towards the cause.
Thus it is highly crucial to keep your organisation safe from the hazard. So here is a rundown on improving the cybersecurity of a small business to safeguard it from malicious online scams and thefts. Let us first start with the basics.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a pre-requisite for entities in the current digital environment.It aids in keeping the classified business information and money protected from stealing, unlawful access, loss and corruption. Across Australia, an estimated $300 million are lost annually due to cybercrime. The reason behind this is that a small business is either unaware of the security parameters or implement them inefficiently.
Most businesses have a lot of data online pertaining to their business functions, market research, customer database, employees, prospective customers, intellectual property, projects, transaction records, etc. All of these need to be secured from attacks to develop the trust of buyers and avoid financial losses. The hackers could be criminals, wicked competitors, spiteful employees, and any other malevolent person privy to the business information. Let us understand how you can protect your organisation from them.
Ways to Improve Small Business Cybersecurity
To kick-start the improvement process, you must begin with an assessment of the current security features in place and how they fare. Get in touch with a subject matter expert to understand the current status of cybersecurity in your organisation. If it is far from the expected levels, then follow the steps mentioned below to step it up.
1. Setting Up Safety Systems and Policies
The implementation of the security systems on the organisational level requires the creation of effective policies and procedures. If these have not been prepared earlier, then ask an IT professional to advise you on the same. It helps in standardising the procedures across the business.
Communicate the terms to all the employees and offer training so that they can use them appropriately. The policy must be recorded and accessible to all the employees. These practices will establish a code of conduct and guidelines for utilising and storing information online. The policies should also have a clause on penalties related to violation of the terms by the employees, such as termination from employment on leaking customer information.
2. Network Protection and Permissions
The internet connection utilised in the workplace must be protected with the help of a firewall. It allows only authorised users to enter the private network and restricts the entry of outsiders. Since remote working is becoming quite popular these days, the firewall systems can help in keeping the business data safe. It manages how the traffic in the network utilises the internet. For example, it restricts the malicious pop-ups and prevents the employees from landing on suspicious pages. The Wi-Fi at the workplace can also be leveraged for using selective permissions. It can help in setting up a guest network for customers and vendors who need to log into the system.
3. Passwords Should Be Your Primary Shield
Passwords are the most common tools to stay protected from data breaches. However, they are used by a large number of employees on a regular basis on various devices which makes them vulnerable. Thus it is imperative to have different passwords for different teams and managers. Also, the same credentials should not be used on different sites.
Passwords are useful because they can be easily reset to avoid theft of information in case you feel the password has been compromised. In addition, you must choose a password with complex characters and numbers instead of choosing your birthdays or names which can be quickly hacked. It helps in saving the data from a brute force attack which utilises a combination of logical passwords to get through the security barrier.
4. Multiple Authentication Steps for Accessing Financial Data
Multiple authentication steps ensure that the protection is doubled for sensitive financial information. It goes beyond merely having a username and password to access the files. For example, when you log in with your credentials, a code is sent to your mobile number, which helps you get inside.
These security features are often utilised by banks to keep the transaction details safe. It helps in authenticating that the user is not a criminal or fraudster. It can be easily implemented within a few minutes and helps in creating an additional protective cover for your financial records.
5. Use Up-To-The-Minute Hardware and Software
Software update can spring up during important meetings or in the middle of important activity. Thus they often get dismissed which makes your software vulnerable to attacks. That is why patch management is crucial for small businesses. It involves updating software regularly to fix all the bugs and identified issues with the security blanket.
Every business must use patches to upgrade the software and stay technologically advanced. The hardware should be modified accordingly to avoid giving the hackers a chance to get into the system and access classified information. Also, install antivirus and antimalware and keep updating them frequently to keep your devices safe. The cybersecurity guide too stresses this aspect for maximum safety.
6. Keep Your Backup Ready
Besides securing your data, you must have provisions for backup to keep your information safe in case of damage to hardware or a cyberattack. In such circumstances, you stand to lose all the data if you don’t have a backup. You must have two backups, one that gets stored in the office, and the other must be stored offsite. It will be beneficial if the data is lost due to damage to office building due to fire, natural disaster, etc. With this plan, you will not have to stop working even if a catastrophe occurs and will have every detail intact.
The digital world is full of opportunities as well as threats that can prove dangerous for an entity. If you are planning to purchase a business for sale in Australia, then you must be aware of the cybersecurity features needed to keep it safe and secure from hackers and cybercrime.