Cybersecurity is extremely valuable for small businesses because it keeps their data secure, improves employee productivity, helps protect their reputation, aids in legal and regulatory compliance, and is cost-effective.
Read on to learn more about the value of cybersecurity for small businesses and cybersecurity best practices your business can start implementing today.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to protecting systems, networks and data from cyber threats such as malware and unauthorized access. Proper cybersecurity ensures that data always remains secure and doesn’t get into the hands of cybercriminals to use for malicious purposes like stealing someone’s identity.
The Value of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
This is why cybersecurity is valuable for small businesses.
The data managed by small businesses, ranging from customer information to financial records, must be secured at all times. Cybersecurity measures like Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and requiring the use of strong passwords will safeguard this information against unauthorized access and data breaches.
By effectively securing sensitive data, you can prevent financial losses and maintain the trust of stakeholders and customers.
Cybersecurity not only defends your small business from external threats but also creates a safe environment for employees to work and be productive. For example, implementing cybersecurity tools like a password manager can aid employees in securely logging in to accounts without constantly having to create help desk tickets whenever they forget their passwords.
Experiencing a breach of security can also halt the operations of a business altogether. However, having cybersecurity measures in place can mitigate the risk of downtime in the event that your business experiences a cyber attack.
Having cybersecurity measures in place also builds trust among customers and demonstrates that your small business is committed to protecting their sensitive information. Without cybersecurity, experiencing a data breach could result in a tarnished reputation, which would severely impact the trust that customers have in your small business.
Prioritizing cybersecurity helps businesses of all sizes maintain a positive image that fosters customer loyalty and attracts new business opportunities, while also preventing the potentially irreversible damage that a cyber attack can inflict on your small businesses’ reputation.
Legal and regulatory compliance
All businesses, including small ones, are subject to various data protection laws and regulations that require safeguarding customer and employee data. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in fines and legal consequences.
Implementing robust cybersecurity, like using strong, unique passwords for critical accounts, ensures that your small business adheres to regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), protecting your business from legal troubles.
Cybersecurity for small businesses isn’t just an investment in protection, it’s also cost-effective. While the upfront investment in cybersecurity solutions and practices might seem like an added expense, the potential fallout from a cyber attack could be far more financially devastating. For example, some costs associated with data breaches include customer compensation, legal fees and operational downtime costs. According to Keeper Security’s 2022 US Cybersecurity Census Report, businesses that had money stolen due to a cyber attack lost more than $75,000 on average – this does not include the aftermath costs of the attacks.
By implementing cybersecurity measures, small businesses can significantly reduce the risk of cyber attacks and their associated financial burdens. An added benefit to a solid cybersecurity foundation is that it can also decrease your business insurance premiums, saving your business money in the long run. Not to mention, password resets are the number one reason employees call the help desk, so eliminating this with the use of a password manager drastically reduces help desk costs. According to Forrester Research, the cost of each individual password reset is $70, which can add up to thousands or millions of dollars per year.
Cybersecurity Best Practices For Small Businesses
There are several cybersecurity best practices small businesses should be implementing including the use of a password manager, training employees, backing up data, implementing the Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) and securing WiFi networks.
Use a password manager
A password manager is a cybersecurity solution that helps employees create and securely store company passwords. Not only do password managers aid employees, but they also provide IT with full visibility into employee password habits. With a centralized dashboard, IT can see if employees are using weak or reused passwords, which accounts employees have access to and even require that employees use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for certain accounts to better secure them.
By implementing a password manager, small businesses can reduce the risks of password-related breaches, enhancing overall security.
Train employees on cybersecurity and cyber threats
Educating employees about cybersecurity threats and best practices is crucial to safeguard any business. Provide your employees with regular training sessions on recognizing phishing attempts, social engineering tactics and other cyber threats. The more informed employees are, the better they’ll be at being able to identify suspicious activity – mitigating the likelihood of a successful cyber attack.
Because cyber attacks like phishing have gotten more sophisticated due to the increasing use of AI by cybercriminals, among other reasons, sending employees simulated phishing tests can also help employees better spot these threats.
Regularly back up data
Data loss can disrupt operations and lead to significant setbacks for small businesses. Regular data backups are vital to ensure quick recovery in the event of a data breach, system failure or other disasters. Not to mention, backing up data regularly also helps businesses avoid paying ransoms in the case of a ransomware attack since the data will still be accessible through the backup.
Make sure that this backed-up data is securely stored in an off-site location or encrypted cloud service, so there is no risk of it getting compromised.
Implement the principle of least privilege
The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) is a cybersecurity concept where employees are only given access to the systems and accounts they need to do their jobs and nothing more. This concept is important to implement because it significantly reduces a business’ attack surface if a breach were to occur, prevents cybercriminals from moving laterally inside of a network and minimizes the risk of insider threats.
Implementing PoLP can be difficult if an organization is not using the right cybersecurity solutions. One solution in particular that makes PoLP seamless to implement is Privileged Access Management (PAM). A PAM solution helps businesses control access to their most sensitive data and IT resources. PAM solutions like KeeperPAM™ provide fine-grained authentication, automation and authorization, auditing, Just-in-Time (JIT) access and session recording – so you can better monitor privileged access and accounts.
Secure WiFi networks
All businesses rely on WiFi networks for connectivity, which is why securing these networks is crucial to preventing unauthorized access and data breaches. Make sure your business’ network utilizes strong encryption, such as WPA3, and implement secure passwords for WiFi access.
It’s also important to regularly update your businesses’ WiFi router firmware, and create guest networks to make it more secure and reduce the risks of cybercriminals breaching your network infrastructure.
Cybersecurity Is the Key To Protecting Your Small Business
Cybersecurity is incredibly important for small businesses as it safeguards them from the ever-present threat of cyber attacks. Start securing your small business by using a secure password management solution like Keeper Password Manager. Start a free 14-day business trial today.