Cyber Security For Small Businesses On A Tight Budget

Cyber Security is definitely a 21st century problem, and it knows no limits.

No matter the size of your business, you must take the threat of a data breach seriously and protect your data.

Small businesses face a challenge because they must be just as compliant as a large business, without having the resources of their larger competitors.

Nevertheless, there are steps a small business can take to improve cyber security without blowing the budget.

1. Have A Good Password Strategy

The number one thing you can do is to have strong passwords and keep them safe.

These two recommendations may seem obvious, but it needs to be said: don’t use the same password for everything, and don’t leave passwords on post-it notes.

Having a long password may be annoying, but with every additional character, it takes more time for a hacker to break through using brute force.

In order to keep many passwords safely, you may want to use a password manager application such as LastPass or 1Password.

This is will save you the hassle of resetting emails constantly or getting locked out of your accounts with too many unsuccessful attempts.

Even with a tight budget, the cost of a password manager application is well worth the $15-40 yearly subscription.

2. Use 2-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is becoming more and more popular as hackers get more and more clever. In fact, this option may be a legitimate reason for you choose one supplier over another.

All 2-factor authentication does is ask you for a second layer of proof that you are who you say you are. Often this looks like a text message to your cell phone or an email to your email address, but it can also mean a unique code provided through an authentication app like Google Authenticator.

Two-Factor authentication prevents a hacker from getting into your account, because merely figuring out your password isn’t enough.

And since services that offer 2-factor authentication don’t generally charge for it, you can fit this in to your budget easily.

3. Use The 3-2-1 Backup Rule

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule was invented by Peter Krogh, a photographer, who didn’t want to lose any of his work.

Although at first glance, it might seem excessive, it is a best practice that has been picked up by many and has been recognized and recommended by governments.

The 3-2-1 backup rule is simple. To follow it, all you need to do is:

  • Have THREE copies of your data
  • Keep those copies on at least TWO different media
  • Store one of these copies off-site

Saving your files to an external hard drive and a safe server are both a good place to start.

Establishing a schedule for doing your backups is a great idea to ensure you’re never left unprepared.

Even if you don’t do your backups every day, you can take the precaution of emailing yourself that document you just finished working on.

Doing that will save you if your computer itself is lost or irreparably damaged.

Truly, this practice can be priceless, when looking at the cost of having a company or consultant try to pull your files off a broken computer.

4. Make Sure You’re PCI DSS Compliant

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has many recommendations that protect the security of your business, should you process, transmit or store credit card transactions.

1st Secure IT is authorized to perform PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) assessments of any level, but we will provide you with more than mere action items.

There are 12 PCI DSS requirements that you must adhere to if you process, transmit or store credit card data.

However, when we assess your company, we will also provide helpful suggestions regarding your systems and processes, recommending best practices and improving your overall cyber security.

Contact 1st Secure IT

Being PCI DSS compliant is crucial for merchant businesses, which means that finding the best value for money will be the critical factor if you’re on a tight budget.

1st Secure IT can help. Our team of experienced qualified security assessors (QSAs) will help you understand what your business needs to do to achieve and maintain PCI DSS compliance.

We can also help you with a number of other IT security concerns, from training your staff on the implementation of IT security best practices, risk & fraud analysis, and more.

Call 1st Secure IT today, and keep your business safe and secure in an uncertain digital world.

1st Secure IT

4613 N. University Drive #323
Coral Springs Florida
(866) 735-3369

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

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