Essential IT Security Checklist for Small Businesses

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Recent data shows that nearly60% of SMBs close operations within six months following a cyberattack. The worrying part is that most cyber-attacks and data breaches continue to happen as a result of human error. This is why your organization’s password policy should be uncompromising, and the first step to maintaining a strong password policy is to use a password manager.

A good rule of thumb is that your passwords should be at least 15 characters long and contain upper case characters, lower case characters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also important to practice proper password hygiene by not reusing passwords across multiple accounts, changing your passwords frequently, and never writing down your passwords.

For more information on best password hygiene, please refer to Managed IT Services Virginia.

Keep Your Wi-Fi Protected

Wi-Fi is a critical part of your business, whether you use it to get work done or to connect with customers and prospects. It’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your network, so it’s important that you take steps to protect it.

Here are some tips for securing Wi-Fi:

  • Use strong passwords for each device on your network.
  • Install a firewall on each device.
  • Enable VPN access for all employees and contractors who will be using the wireless network.
  • Use a wireless access point (WAP) that supports 802.11i security standards.
  • Use a router that supports 802.11i security standards (if necessary).

Secure and Test Your Backups

Backups are an important part of your data protection plan. They’re a lifesaver if you accidentally delete something or suffer a hardware failure, and they’ll help you recover from ransomware infections faster.

You can make sure backups are working by testing them on a regular basis. You should also have multiple copies of each file stored in different locations, such as on the cloud or on an external hard drive. Backup software varies from program to program.

Some offer automated backups that run every night after hours when the computers aren’t being used; others allow you to create manual backups. Most backup tools make it easy to encrypt files before saving them so that no one can access them without permission.

Train Employees Rigorously

Make sure your employees know what to do in the case of a security breach, data breach or phishing attack. This can be done through an in-house general training session or by sending out an email with information on how to spot them. Additionally, your IT staff should review any new policies that are put into place to ensure they’re being followed and understood by all employees.

Update Security Policies 

Verizon’s recent report on data breaches showed that 43% of cyberattacks are squarely aimed at small businesses.If you work for a small business, it’s important to keep your security policies up to date. A lot of the time, businesses don’t realize that they need to update their security policies regularly until they’ve been hacked or are the victim of some other cyberattack.

  • Make sure you’re always up-to-date with the latest security protocols.
  • Update your security policies regularly. In order to do this effectively, make sure that everyone who works for your company is aware of them (and understands them) so that there aren’t any gaps in coverage if someone leaves or changes roles within the organization.

Update and Review BYOD Policies BYOD policies are an important part of your security strategy, as they can help you maintain control over the devices that connect to your network. Reviewing BYOD polices regularly and thoroughly with all parties involved can help keep your business safe from cyber threats.

  • Regularly review BYOD policies with employees. Have them sign off on their understanding of the policy and its requirements for them to bring personal devices into the workplace, such as:
  • How their device will be used (for example, for work-related activities only)
  • What types of data may be stored on the device (such as company emails or confidential information), and how much time is spent using it during work hours.
  • Regularly review BYOD policies with management.

Conduct A Risk Assessment When it comes to security, the only thing that matters isthe risk—that is, how likely something bad will happen. A risk assessment (often conducted by a reliable third-party service provider like IT Support) is an examination of your business’s current situation in order to determine its level of vulnerability and what measures need to be taken in order to minimize that risk. Risk assessments have several benefits:

  • They can help you prioritize resources when implementing or updating a security system
  • They establish a baseline for future updates as necessary
  • They give you an idea of where you stand in terms of vulnerability so that you know if anything new has been added during your assessment

Enable two-factor authentication Two-factor authentication is a security measure for logging in to your account that requires more than just your username and password. Two-factor authentication is when you have two different pieces of information—a second factor—to identify yourself when signing into an account.

In this scenario, you log into your email or other accounts with both something you know (your username/password) and something new (a six-digit code generated by one of these apps) before being able to access the site from another device or location.

It’s one of the best ways to keep hackers out, especially if you work in an industry where sensitive information needs to be protected.

Many companies use two-factor authentication because it makes hacking accounts much more difficult for cybercriminals, who would need both credentials as well as physical access to that person’s smartphone or tablet in order for them to gain access through this method alone. You’ll need a special app like Google Authenticator or Authy to enable it on your device.

Post courtesy: Systems Solutions, IT Support Provider in Clarksville & Evansville