Cybersecurity Policies for Small Business

When financial information, sensitive employee data, and customer information are not protected, cybercrimes and data theft can harm a small business’s brand and growth. 

As a result, creating and implementing a thorough cyber security policies to make sure your small business has the necessary security measures in place is essential.

Cyber security policy aids in outlining the rules for transmitting company data, gaining access to personal networks, and using equipment provided by the business.

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

In accordance with Verizon’s 2021 Report, small and medium enterprises were harmed by 46% of breaches. 

This is not surprising because there are so many choices to be made when opening a small business, and cybersecurity precautions are frequently neglected. As a result, small businesses can unintentionally leave points of entry open for cyber-criminals if they don’t concentrate on improving their security.

According to a joint analysis, the average data breach cost rose by 10% in 2021, and according to Verizon’s data, 95% of events cost SMBs between $826 and $653,587. Furthermore, these companies frequently lack the funding necessary to mount a successful defense against assaults.

Small firms have more digital resources to attack than individual customers have but are less secure than larger corporations which put them in the cybersecurity sweet spot for hackers.

You have a setting that is ready for invasions when you combine that with the costs involved with placing effective defenses. Small business owners are more willing to shell out a ransom to have their data back because security breaches may be damaging to those businesses. SMBs may also serve as a launching pad for attackers seeking to enter larger corporations.

Cybersecurity Policy

An organization’s network is protected from threat activity by a set of standardized processes and procedures called a cybersecurity policy.

Usually, the organization’s broad security expectations, duties, and obligations are the primary focus of the first section of the cybersecurity policy. Sections addressing various cybersecurity topics, such as recommendations for antivirus software or the use of cloud apps, may be included in the second portion.

Many pages are typically included in a cybersecurity policy for larger firms or those operating in regulated sectors. 

A cybersecurity policy for smaller businesses may only be a few pages long and cover the fundamentals of safety. However, rules should always place a priority on the matters that are crucial to the company, such as ensuring the protection of the most delicate and regulated data.

Why is it Crucial to Have a Cybersecurity Policy?

To maintain good cyber health and respond appropriately in the case of a data breach, a business must have a cybersecurity policy that is followed by every employee. 

Designing a strong cybersecurity policy will aid in integrating new employees who are not familiar with cybersecurity best practices and assist in informing your entire company about the consequences of weak cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Policies to Consider 

To counter the escalating cybersecurity risks, small businesses must have a cybersecurity policy in place to safeguard their operations, their clients, and their data. Here’s a list of example policies that can be included in the organization’s overall cybersecurity policy:. 

  • Employ A Firewall – Access Control Policy

Installing a firewall is a primary method of protection from cyber-attacks. The Federal Communications Commission advises all SMBs to use firewalls as a defense against fraudsters accessing their data. 

Many businesses are beginning to implement internal firewalls in addition to the typical exterior firewall to give additional security. Additionally, it’s critical that remote workers set up a firewall on their network. To ensure compliance, think about offering firewall software and support for home networks.

  • Employ Strong Email Policies – System & Information Integrity Policy

The phrase “email security” may refer to a variety of policies and practices for protecting email accounts, information, and communications from unwanted access, theft, or compromise. 

Usually, spam, malware, and phishing assaults spread over email. Hackers trap victims into giving important information by sending misleading communications through emails, attachments or messages. 

Email encryption protects potentially sensitive information from being read by anybody other than the intended receivers by encrypting or masking the content of email communications. Authentication is frequently used in email encryption.

This policy’s goal is to establish guidelines for using business email to send, receive, or store electronic messages.

  • Educate Staff About Security Principles – Security Awareness Policy

Establish fundamental cybersecurity procedures and regulations for staff members, such as mandating strong passwords, and acceptable Internet usage standards that spell out the consequences of breaking the organization’s cybersecurity rules. 

Create guidelines for conduct outlining how to manage and secure consumer information and other important data.

  • Use Anti-Virus Software – System & Information Integrity Policy

This policy must be placed to help stop malware and other malicious code attacks on business computers, networks, and technology systems. Anti-Virus software is a computer application to identify, stop, and take action against dangerous programs like viruses and worms.

The majority of antivirus products have an auto-update capability that enables the program to download profiles of updates so that it can scan for new malware as soon as they are found. 

Every business should have antivirus software because it is a basic requirement.

  • Employ Smartphone policies – System & Information Integrity Policy

It is crucial to incorporate devices in a policy due to the rising popularity of wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers with wireless capabilities. Additionally, Norton by Symantec advises small businesses to mandate that any mobile devices connecting to the network must adhere to the company’s password policy and that employees set up automatic security upgrades.

  • Server Virtualization Policy – Maintenance Policy

This policy’s goal is to establish the standards for server virtualization technologies, including their use, management, and procurement. 

This policy offers safeguards that ensure Enterprise concerns are taken into account along with business goals when choices about server virtualization are being made. All server virtualization technologies must be purchased, designed, implemented, and managed following Platform Architecture policies, standards, and guidelines.

  • Strong Password Policies – System & Information Integrity Policy

Make it mandatory for employees to use special passwords and to update them every three months.

Consider using multi-factor authentication, which requires more than just a password to obtain access. Determine whether your vendors who deal with sensitive data, particularly financial institutions, offer multi-factor authentication for your account by checking with them. 

The goal of this policy is to provide a standard for the generation of secure passwords, their protection, and the required frequency of password changes.

  • Do Regular Data Backups – Media Protection Policy

Despite taking all necessary safeguards, breaches are still possible, thus it’s crucial to block as many attacks as you can. 

Databases, spreadsheets, HR files, and financial statement files are among the types of information that we advise backing up. Make sure to back up all cloud-stored data as well.

In the event of a fire or flood, make sure backups are kept in a different area.

  • Employ Social Media Policy – System & Communication Policy

Small businesses are increasingly using social media for business goals. A specific quantity of data that will be visible to friends on social media will be exposed to the corporation. 

While this exposure could be a key factor in value creation, it can also serve as an unsuitable channel for information to travel between connections in both the personal and professional spheres. 

Employing social media policy is crucial for issues relating to bandwidth, security, and privacy. 

  • Protect Your Wi-Fi Networks – Access Control Policy

Make sure your office’s Wi-Fi network is hidden, encrypted, and secure. 

Set up your router to not display the network name, to conceal your Wi-Fi network. Secure router access with a password. This policy’s goals are to secure and safeguard the corporate knowledge assets, as well as to establish awareness of and best practices for using corporately offered free and unsecured Wi-Fi.

  • Site Operation Guidelines – Physical Security Policy

This policy aims to establish standards for communication and website updates for the company’s external website.

The success of the business depends on safeguarding the information on and within the corporate website with the same level of security and confidentiality requirements applied to other corporate business transactions.

The Bottom Line

There are more than a dozen ways to protect the systems and network of your small business and the number of secure file-sharing options is growing. 

By following a cybersecurity policy, your business may be able to reduce the impact if any hacks occur. Threats will continue to change, and so will defenses against them. By no means should you be slack or careless when it comes to securing your company, but as the name suggests, a cybersecurity policy is made to keep your company’s digital assets secure.

Therefore, you can rest assured that your business will most likely grow if you stick to the best practices.