October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month but it’s never too late to take security seriously. As a small business owner, you are already painfully aware that SMB’s are particularly vulnerable to hijacking and data breaches. Smaller companies tend to lack resources for dedicated IT staff or sophisticated security software and may need simple reminders on how to deal with cybersecurity that can threaten your business data.
Educating employees is the first step to securing and protecting your data. Most breaches stem from human error. The most common example being downloading a malicious file, that would release malware into your internal network, which can slowly leak private information or immediately take your business data with ransomware. Educating employees with best practices can significantly minimize your risk exposure to these dangerous attacks.
Enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible can help add a layer of login protection. Two-factor authentication or two-step verification is a security process in which the user provides two different authentication factors to verify themselves to better protect the resources that user can access.
Endorsing passphrases over traditional alphanumeric passwords. Cybercriminals have powerful programs that can crack the typical alphanumeric password within three days, while a random four-word combination phrase would take approximately 550 years to determine. These phrases can be easy-to-remember and easy-to-type four word phrase combinations without any spaces. The NICCS (National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers & Studies) says “there is no reason to update these strong passphrases after 90 days like traditional alphanumeric passwords now or for the near future, which is great news to your end users.“
Enhancing password security software by investing in a password management software. Since remembering all the different passwords to each different login is nearly impossible, your typical fallback will be to use the same password across all logins. The main benefit of the password manager is to boost your security without challenging your memory.