Every business needs to have a disaster recovery plan. However, the word “disaster” often brings to mind natural occurrences only. With this in mind, most small businesses are well-prepared to manage natural disasters but fall short when human-made disasters strike. One of the most formidable human-made disasters is damage to the IT infrastructure of an organization or unauthorized access of a cybercriminal into a company’s system.
Microsoft estimates the cost of a data breach to an average organization to be $3.8 million. Even if the monetary damage is lower for small businesses, its magnitude suggests that a small business will find it costly to recover from a cyber attack. However, small businesses can reduce their proneness to successful cyber attacks if they take these steps:
Allowing employees to use weak or default passwords to access company systems and applications is a recipe for disaster. Requiring passwords to be complex and changed regularly is a simple way to safeguard your network. You might be surprised to know that “123456” remained the most common password in 2016 and 2017. Allowing simple passwords to be used creates an easy entry point for cybercriminals.
Employees should be required to change their passwords as soon as they are given their initial credentials to access a service or device. More importantly, company IT policy should enforce robust passwords and frequent password changes.
While the idea of having an in-house team of IT professionals might sound enticing you, it’s not necessarily viable for small businesses due to the costs involved. Managed IT services are, on the other hand, are only a fraction of the cost of having an in-house IT department. In the end, it is imperative for every small business owner to take IT security as a top-priority issue and get over the “why will they attack my business” attitude.
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