How Small Businesses Can Protect Their Data Without Breaking the Bank

Data on screen

Sarah Kristina

Release Date

Friday, April 26, 2024


With cyber threats constantly evolving and hackers increasingly targeting small businesses, protecting your company's sensitive data can seem like a daunting and expensive task.

But the good news is, implementing strong cybersecurity measures doesn't have to drain your budget. There are many affordable solutions available that can significantly boost your defenses against cyber attacks. One of the most cost-effective tools is a Virtual Private Network. Let's explore how a VPN and other budget-friendly strategies can help keep your small business safe from cyber criminals.

Why Small Businesses Need VPNs

A VPN is an essential tool for any small business operating online. It creates an encrypted tunnel between your devices and the internet, shielding your data from prying eyes. This is especially important if your employees work remotely or use public Wi-Fi networks, which are notoriously vulnerable to hacking.

With a VPN, all the data sent to and from your company's devices is indecipherable to anyone who intercepts it. Even if a hacker manages to access the network, they wont be able to steal passwords, financial information, customer data, or any other sensitive details. A VPN will also mask your IP addresses, making it much harder for cyber criminals to target your business specifically.

Many small business owners assume that VPNs are too complex or costly to implement. But in reality, there are VPN solutions to fit every technical skill level and budget. Prices can be as low as $2.29 per month at platforms like Surfshark VPN service, a small price to pay for the priceless peace of mind a VPN provides. When choosing a VPN provider, look for one that offers strong encryption, doesn't log user activity, and has servers in the locations you need.

Train Your Employees in Cybersecurity Best Practices

Even the most robust cybersecurity systems can be compromised by human error. That's why training your employees to follow cybersecurity best practices is one of the most important and affordable defenses you can deploy. Educate your staff on how to recognize phishing emails, create strong passwords, handle sensitive data properly, and maintain good cyber hygiene.

Establish clear security policies and ensure everyone in the company follows them consistently. For example, require all devices to have the latest antivirus software, firewalls, and operating system updates installed. Restrict employee access to only the data and systems they need to do their jobs. Building a culture of cybersecurity awareness is an low-cost, high-impact way to reduce your risk.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a simple but powerful tool for preventing unauthorized access to company accounts and data. With MFA enabled, users must provide two or more verification factors, such as a password and a temporary code sent to their phone, in order to log in.

This extra layer of security can block the vast majority of fraudulent sign-in attempts, even if a hacker has stolen an employee's login credentials. Many MFA solutions are very affordable or even free to use, making them a smart choice for small businesses. Require MFA on all company accounts, from email to financial services to social media.

Back Up Your Data Regularly

No cybersecurity strategy is complete without a robust data backup plan. Ransomware attacks, in which hackers lock companies out of their own data and demand payment, are on the rise. Regularly backing up your business-critical data ensures that you can recover quickly from any type of data loss, without having to pay a ransom.

The most secure backup method is the 3-2-1 rule: Keep at least three copies of your data, on two different storage types, with one copy stored offsite. Cloud storage services offer affordable and scalable offsite backup for small businesses. Choose a provider that encrypts your data both in transit and at rest.

Work With a Managed Service Provider

Implementing and maintaining strong cybersecurity can be overwhelming for small businesses with limited IT resources. That's where managed service provider (MSP) can help. MSPs offer affordable access to cybersecurity experts and enterprise-grade technology that might otherwise be out of reach for smaller companies.

An MSP can assess your current cybersecurity posture, recommend the most cost-effective solutions for your needs, deploy and manage those solutions, and provide ongoing support and monitoring. They can also ensure all your systems stay properly patched and updated, which is critical for plugging security holes. When evaluating potential MSP partners, look for one with experience serving small businesses in your industry and a track record of strong cybersecurity.

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