How do cybersecurity measures apply to small businesses?
Digital technology is increasingly becoming a mainstay for small businesses. A report from the University Consortium of Malaysia states that digital technology has proven to increase the productivity of small businesses. Small businesses that use social media experience an increase in productivity of up to 26%. Meanwhile, a study from Huawei Technologies found that implementing advanced digital technologies, such as data management solutions, can increase productivity by up to 60%.
However, this convenience carries risks in the form of cybersecurity threats. It can harm your business data and even threaten the security of your privacy. What kind of cybersecurity measures can small businesses run?
1. Train employees in security principles
The human factor is one of the most significant risks in cybersecurity. Since social engineering, phishing, and ransomware attacks are always happening, please inform your team about this topic.
Employees, in general, should be given the training to gain cybersecurity awareness. Meanwhile, staff responsible for cyber protection must also acquire the necessary skills and competencies. There are several free cybersecurity training online, such as TryHackMe and SANS Cyber Aces Online, which you can access for free.
2. Carry out a risk assessment
You can start risk assessment by identifying your business’s digital assets. Next, identify any cyber threats that might point to the asset, for example, hackers stealing your new product development data.
In addition to assessing external risks, look for internal dangers, such as human mistake that causes data erasure by accident. If you cannot independently carry out a risk assessment, contact a third party with experience in mitigating cybersecurity risks.
3. Provide firewall security for your Internet connection
The benefit of using a firewall is to protect our computers from cyber threats, such as unauthorized remote access. Usually, this irresponsible person wants to take over control of our computer access. With a firewall, we can monitor and disable computer access from unknown networks to prevent them from taking over the computer.
The most important benefits of a firewall are reducing the chances of malware infection and blocking them accurately so that the negative impact of malware will not spread to computer devices, which is undoubtedly wrong for the security of our machines and data.
4. Back up your important files and data regularly
Other methods to improve cybersecurity are through the regular system, device, and network data backups. Backing up your data will allow you to quickly restore data to your network and devices after a cyberattack has hit them.
With regular data backups, all information and configurations stored on the network or device will have a backup that you can access anytime.
You can use the automated backup feature on CMS (Content Management Systems) to store any content uploaded to your business website.
Most server service providers or web hosting services now provide regular or weekly data backup services that you can use.
5. Secure your Wi-Fi network
You can use the traditional method to secure a Wi-Fi network by limiting access. Avoid giving your Wi-Fi access to outsiders. The more people with Wi-Fi network credentials, the greater the risk of your data falling into the wrong hands.
Alternatively, you can give them access to your guest’s Wi-Fi network. This option provides a connection with your Wi-Fi network but hides WiFi-connected files, storage, and network devices. Most routers offered by providers in Malaysia already have this option. You can access it via settings. When you create a guest network, create a separate guest SSID.
Digitalization in small businesses needs to be followed by education regarding cyber security risks. Strengthening knowledge and practice of cyber security is expected to support small businesses in Malaysia to continue to grow, thereby driving economic recovery.