A 5-Item IT Security Checklist for Your Small Business
Brand loyalty is built on trust, and customers trust organizations that keep their data secure.
With data breaches rising every year and massive data leaks hitting the news on a regular basis, your small business success relies on your ability to protect your company from cyber security threats and ensure that all your employees know how to keep themselves and your business safe from cyber criminals.
Where to start?
Let’s go over five steps for cyber security and small business.
1. Principle of Least Privilege
Strong IT security for small businesses begins with determining and enforcing who has access to data to begin with. Analyze your data and what it is used for and then create sensible, tiered access policies to ensure that only the people who absolutely need to have access to sensitive data have the ability to access it.
And not everyone needs to be an administrator. Only give administrator privileges to those employees who genuinely need to download and install software themselves to do their jobs. Don’t forget about employees who are no longer with your company—definitely be sure that you remove all access for all former employees as soon as possible!
2. Zero-Trust Data Solutions
Zero Trust Data Security™ assumes that no one, no device, and no application is 100 percent trustworthy. A zero-trust system authenticates and verifies every single connection to every single device or application to ensure that only the people who are supposed to be accessing data (or devices…or anything else) are allowed access.
3. Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication
Implement strong password policies and train your staff to understand the importance of passwords that are long and complex (and not reused). Enforce frequent password changes as well as multi-factor authentication.
Electronic password managers can help by making it easier for your employees to create longer, stronger passwords because they won’t have to remember them (and won’t be tempted to write them down anywhere else).
4. Bring-Your-Own-Device Policies
In this world of remote work, more and more employees are using their own devices to work from home (or elsewhere). A thorough Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy lays out exactly what can and cannot be accessed by or copied to personal devices (including removable storage devices). In addition, a strong BYOB policy may include a requirement for the encryption of any data copied by employees to outside devices.
5. Back It Up
Frequent backups and encryption of your data can ensure a quick recovery in the event of a cyber attack. And you should expect that a cyber attack will happen at some point, regardless of what protective measures you’ve implemented. Continuous data protection can make restoration and recovery even easier if an attack does happen.
Can you check all these items off your small business cyber security checklist?
Conducting a thorough risk assessment can give you a good place to start if you’re not sure how secure your data and devices are.
Rubrik can help with data security for your small business. From analyzing where your data is and protecting it to swift restoration and recovery times, Rubrik can help your small business prepare and implement a comprehensive IT security plan to keep you and your customers protected before, during, and after an attack. Reach out today to discuss your options. In the meantime, check out some answers to frequently asked questions about security.
Do small businesses need cyber security?
Every business needs comprehensive cybersecurity.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC) annual Data Breach Report, data breach incidents in 2021 increased 68% from 2020. Up from 43% previously, the most recent 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report notes that 46% of data breaches were targeting small organizations. Many small businesses assume that cybercriminals are more likely to go after large businesses, but those criminals know that, while the payout may be greater with a larger business, they’re also more likely to invest in strong cyber security defenses.
As with crime in general, criminals are more likely to go for the easier win, even if it isn’t quite as profitable.
Given the choice between stealing the expensive car that clearly has a complex alarm and tracking system on it and the less expensive car that appears to be unlocked and has the keys in the ignition, a thief is probably going to go with the less expensive car.
Not only is it easier to get into, but they’re also banking on the owner not having as many resources to act on the theft.
How do I protect my small business network?
In addition to the checklist above, there are some simple methods of protecting your network from attack. Start with firewalls, anti-virus software, and VPNs.
Update your firmware. Train and monitor your employees—you can create the most thorough and stringent cyber security policies that have ever existed, and they will not protect your business if your employees don’t know what they are, how to implement them, and are not bought into to ensure compliance every day.
How do you audit information security?
An IT security audit is an important part of disaster recovery.
An audit identifies your security strengths and weaknesses so that you can address them and better protect your company’s data and reputation.
Your first step of an audit is to determine your goals.
Based on your type of business, you may have different levels of security and data to protect—part of the audit is determining what it is you’re trying to keep secure and how secure it needs to be.
Once you’ve identified what you’re protecting, identifying the threats and risks associated with that data is your next step. Third, evaluate your security—that may include testing your security as well.
Identify your strongest points and weakest points and begin to put together your plan for maintaining your best security and addressing your weak spots.