{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

Protect Your Small Business From a Cyber Attack

DZone 's Guide to

Protect Your Small Business From a Cyber Attack

Most small business owners tend to think that their businesses are too small to be noticed or bothered by hackers. The truth of the matter is that hackers are now focusing on small businesses more than ever, courtesy of their susceptibility and unpreparedness.

· Security Zone ·
Free Resource

Living at a time when businesses are shifting from the traditional brick-and-mortar format to online businesses, it is no surprise that cyber attacks are also on the increase. As a developer, you are looking to expand and reach new markets using various computer-based tools. This may be a step in the right direction, but there is also the constant challenge posed by cyber-attacks. Most small business owners tend to think that their businesses are too small to be noticed or bothered by hackers. The truth of the matter is that hackers are now focusing on small businesses more than ever, courtesy of their susceptibility and unpreparedness. Based on this, any small business must create a strong culture of security in order to cultivate customer confidence and enhance business. The following are some vital tips you can implement in your small business as a developer.

Focus on Employee Education

Your employees can make or break your business, depending on how best they are informed about cybersecurity.  Create a culture of inculcating basic security policies and practices among your employees. This may include establishing guidelines on how best employees can help handle and protect customer information and other sensitive data within the company.

Best Practices on Payment Cards

Usually, payment cards are the primary target for hackers targeting small businesses. Based on this, protecting yourself from credit card fraud should be part of your basic security measures for your small business. Work closely with banks and other processors of your payment cards to ensure you have the best anti-fraud systems in place. Most of all, ensure that you isolate payment systems from other, less secure systems and programs to avoid compromise.

Install Strong Firewall Security 

As a developer, most of your activities will be completed online. This means you are even more susceptible to cyberattacks over the internet. In this regard, you are better off providing top-notch firewall security that will ensure your most sensitive data are secured an inaccessible for hackers. In case you have employees working from home, it is also advisable that you educate them on the importance of installing strong firewalls in their systems.

A firewall acts as the cyber front door to your online business. As such, it should always remain closed, just like your physical front door, and only authorized persons should be allowed through. For instance, you may see the need to filter your emails to avoid spam and other virus infected mails. This ensures that you have less traffic on your internet connection and thus fewer chances of malicious codes infiltrating into your system.

Network Access Control

Open networks are usually the target for most hackers. As a developer, you would understand how unauthorized devices can pose threats to your security. As such, always take measures to ensure that only authorized devices can connect to your network. In cases where wireless devices are involved, work to limit access only to resources that are necessary for your business operations. In this case, wireless guest access should only ensure the users get access to the internet but cannot infiltrate into the internal network resources.

Make a Backup of Important Business Data

As much as you may have the best security measures in place, you would also appreciate the fact that hackers are constantly devising new ways to get access to your data. As such, you need to have a reliable backup of your most sensitive data just in case the unexpected happens. Developers are always creating, and sensitive data like passwords, databases, electronic spreadsheets, financial files accounts receivable files, and human resource files are of utmost importance. Always make sure you do automatic backup of the same as regularly as possible.  You can store copies of the same in the cloud or offsite folders.

Keep Your Wi-Fi Networks Secure

Wi-Fi security is one of the most overlooked, especially by small business owners. Hackers take advantage of this loophole to get access to your network. As such, always ensure your Wi-Fi is secure and encrypted. Set up your router or wireless point to avoid broadcasting the Service Set Identifier (SSID). This is in addition to protecting access to your router using passwords.

Keep Your Hardware Safe

When it comes to cybersecurity, most developers would only think about securing their online database. However, it is worth noting that hackers may also target your hardware where your sensitive data may be stored. Reduce the risk of your data getting into the wrong hands by ensuring that your servers, cell phones, laptops, and other vital storage devices are always safe and out of reach for malicious individuals. You can easily do this by physically securing access to these devices or installing security cameras to deter would-be hackers.

Seek Advice from Security Experts

As a developer, you do not want to take chances with your business. As much as you may do your best to put in place the best security devices, you may also see the need to seek the services of a security expert once in a while. By hiring an external expert, you get the chance to benefit from their professional guidance. This may either be in terms of physical or online security

Developers are always on the lookout for new businesses and opportunities. However, it is equally important that you also put in place the right measures to ensure that you are protected from hackers and other malicious persons looking to get access to your sensitive data. Right from the onset of your business plan, cybersecurity should be part and parcel of the package. Based on your business model, you can easily create a customized cybersecurity plan that will fully take care of any malicious threats to your digital and physical data. Remember, securing your personal data goes beyond just using the latest technology; it is more about being proactive in avoiding disasters and risks posed by hackers and cybercriminals.  Without these, your small business can easily come to a screeching halt.

Topics:
cyber attack, cyber security, small business

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}