Enhancing Small Business Security: Affordable Cybersecurity Strategies
January 16, 2024
Cost Effective Ways to Secure Your Small Business with Cybersecurity
Understanding the Impact of Cyber Threats
- Cause financial loss
- Result in data breaches for both your business and your customers
- Ruin your reputation among customers
- Interrupt daily operations
Overcoming Cost Barriers with Practical Solutions
To address cost concerns, small businesses can adopt cost-effective cybersecurity measures to fortify their defenses:
Routine Password Changes
One of the most important things you can do regarding cybersecurity is change your passwords regularly. The good news is this can be done for little to no cost. We suggest changing your passwords every quarter and sticking to a routine schedule.
Using built-in password management within your systems is the best way to tackle routine password changes. That way, it's automatic and forces you to change it once the interval is hit. If your systems don't have built-in password management, we recommend creating a recurring appointment on your calendar to remind you to change them quarterly.
It's important to use a different password for everything and do not repeat a formerly used password. Cybersecurity is very often sacrificed for ease of use. So, in general, ensure you are committing and following through. If it's something you cannot automate, be sure you are getting creative with your passwords using a combination of numbers, letters, and characters.
"When people are drawing blanks trying to think of a new password, I usually suggest they use something they've done recently or will be doing," said Hayes Seymour, IT Director at Bowers & Company CPAs. "Going on a trip to Disneyland this year? A good password would be D!5n3y2024!!. By the time that expires and it's time to change again, you'll have something new you can create a password from."
Consider Utilizing SaaS Platforms/Cloud Solutions
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which a cloud-based software application is licensed to a user. The application is accessed via the internet and runs on the SaaS provider's servers, making them responsible for its security, performance, and maintenance.
Cloud Solutions offer on-demand availability of computer system resources like servers, storage, databases, networking, etc. It makes data centers available to many users over the internet.
By using SaaS platforms/cloud solutions, you don't need to have and maintain your own IT infrastructure outside of employee workstations.
You can also take advantage of the robust security built into the systems of top providers. For example, rather than having your own email server in a closet that may or may not be getting security updates, Microsoft could host your email server and make the updates for you.
Turn On Automatic Updates
Vendors release security updates regularly. Unless it's your full-time job to manage them, these updates will often get overlooked. It's critical to allow your software to update automatically as much as possible to keep systems secure.
While running a small business may involve wearing many hats, cybersecurity should never be overlooked. Investing time, money, and commitment in cybersecurity is a small price to pay for protecting your business and customers from potential cyber threats. Start with these practical tips to steer your small business in the right direction and fortify its defenses against cyber threats.
About Bowers CPAs & Advisors
Bowers CPAs & Advisors has served private and closely held businesses with strategic financial advice for over 40 years. Whether traditional Tax and Audit, Business Valuation, Accounting/Bookkeeping, Forensic Accounting, or Financial Planning services, our approach is the same:
"Master an in-depth knowledge of our clients and their industry to provide proactive, innovative analysis and recommendations to build and maintain net worth."
At Bowers CPAs & Advisors, we set the tone by being readily available to our clients and maintaining close relationships built on integrity and trust. With 31 Partners and a staff of more than 130 professionals, Bowers CPAs & Advisors has offices in Syracuse, Rochester and Watertown, New York.