by Karen Stern
With the uptick in internet fraud and the shift to remote work for many businesses during the onslaught of COVID-19, many companies have been left especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, cybersecurity should continue to be a top priority for small businesses, particularly for those operating in a decentralized work-from-home environment.
Here are four tips to help you manage your organization’s cybersecurity:
- Assess your network. Take inventory of your hardware and software and make note of who has access. Boot off unknown users and devices and pinpoint security vulnerabilities. Set your applications to auto-update or ensure that there is a process to install security patches monthly. Hackers target vulnerable, unprotected systems.
- Prioritize security awareness training. Schedule recurring training to ensure that your workforce stays updated on cybersecurity protocols and popular scam tactics. Make sure your employees can recognize suspicious emails, are familiar with phishing scams, and understand how to report potential threats.
- Strengthen passwords and consider multi-factor authentication. Even businesses with powerful security defense systems can be easily bypassed with weak passwords. Encourage employees to reassess their passwords’ strength and implement a password manager. Consider implementing multifactor authentication, which prevents stolen passwords from being used and adds an additional layer of security to your network.
- Refresh your incident response protocol. If a breach were to occur, make sure you have a contingency plan in place to minimize potential impact. Establish an alternate method of communication outside of your network, such as cell phones, and develop a business continuity strategy.
Taking the steps to proactively strengthen your small business’s cybersecurity now is the best way to prepare for potential cyberattacks in the future. To learn more about bolstering your organization’s cybersecurity, contact Bill Gogel, Manager, Advisory Services, at 314.983.1363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Stern, CPA, (email@example.com), partner in charge, Brown Smith Wallace Entrepreneurial Services Group, provides tax and accounting services for companies ranging from start-ups to $20 million in revenue.