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IT security for small businesses: steps to stay secure online

Data leaks and system hacks at big tech are far too common news today, but IT security for small business is important, too! While this may mean that small and midsize businesses enjoy a safer time, the reality couldn’t be more different. In recent times, small businesses have become easy targets. While big companies have the muscle to recover from sudden malfunction, small businesses don’t always have that luxury. That’s why SMBs need to follow the best IT security practices to stay safe online. IT security for small businesses include protecting client details, payment information, business plans, and financial structure. But what are the steps to stay secure in this digital era? Let’s take a look. 

1. Educate and empower employees

Employees in SMBs tend to juggle between tasks and devices so they need to have good knowledge of IT security. It’s crucial that employees are empowered with best practices. These include strong password usage, secure handling of sensitive client information, and maintaining payment methods. As cyber criminals find newer, more sophisticated ways to infiltrate your IT, employees need to be up to the task. Holding regular IT security training sessions and discussing new security developments will help employees get used to the higher standard of IT security.

2. Install firewall and anti-malware software 

Using a firewall for SMBs is an absolute must in today’s world. A firewall is a series of protective programs that shield your computers from outside attacks. Most computers come with inbuilt firewalls so make sure it’s enabled. A lot of companies are even opting for in-house firewall systems. Anti-malware is another software that’s easily available and does a good job in securing your devices. Just make sure to read the fine print and not opt for cheap options. 

3. Backup data regularly

If your company does get attacked by cybercriminals, backed up data can help you survive the blow. Regularly backing up data is a practice that can help you mitigate the threat of data loss during cyber-attacks. Backups often include databases, spreadsheets, documents, and financial files. Based on your company policy, you can store your data locally at a physical location or keep it safe in the cloud. 

4. Focus on mobile devices

Workplaces have seen a surge in mobile device usage. Smartphones have advanced so much that they can easily handle a few basic work-related tasks. It’s convenient, but also risky. Cyber-attacks are often targeted towards mobile devices that are unprotected and often contain vital information. With BYOD becoming more of a norm, IT security for small businesses should cover the mobile devices of employees for the ultimate protection.

5. Hire a Managed IT services provider

It’s never a bad idea to let experts handle your IT services. Managed IT service providers (MSPs) consult you on security, help you protect your data, and streamline your business model. They deploy timely patches, maintain databases, and proactively defend your IT from cyber-attacks, all while giving you the freedom to focus on other areas.

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