Cyberattacks are a serious threat for small businesses because they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger corporations. As an area of your operations that is critical to your company’s survival, there are several security precautions a small business owner can take to avoid costly data breaches and protect sensitive data. Here are a few cyber security tips that can benefit any small business owner.

Require employees to use unique passwords that are at least 10 characters long and include symbols, numbers and upper- and lower-case letters. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication, which requires information beyond a password in order to gain entry into databases and servers. Advise employees to never share their passwords with other staff members.

Hackers can enter your computer network through outdated apps. Consider installing software updates and patches for applications and operating systems as soon as they’re available. Be sure to regularly back up critical data on all computers, including databases, financial and human resource files, electronic spreadsheets, word processing documents and more. Store the copies off-site, in a safe or in the cloud.

Employees can inadvertently cause breaches if they aren’t trained properly. Creating basic security practices and policies can help them understand how to use company resources and follow security protocols. Establish rules of behavior that describe how to handle and protect customer information and other vital data. You may also want to implement guidelines that detail penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies.

If you have a Wi-Fi network for your business, make sure it is secure, encrypted and hidden. Configure the router so the network name cannot be seen. If customers or clients need access to Wi-Fi, you can set up a guest account that has a different password and security measures. This prevents customers from having access to your main network.

For more ways, you can improve security at your small business, see the accompanying infographic.


Author information: Travis Ray is Director of Customer Care & Strategic Marketing for KEYper® Systems, a key management and storage systems company. Ray is responsible for overseeing the customer care team that provides software and hardware support for new and current clients.