Cybersecurity on a Budget: Here are 3 Tips From an Expert

Why Your Small Business Should Invest in Cybersecurity in 2018 -- and How to Do It Using Inexpensive Cybersecurity Measures

Cybersecurity should be a major focus for small businesses in 2018. And it doesn’t need to be expensive.

SiteLock President Neill Feather recently shared some predictions about the state of cybersecurity in 2018 with Small Business Trends, along with some tips for small businesses looking to protect their online data and assets even with a limited budget.

One of the major trends Feather noted is that small companies are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their security solutions. But no matter how much you pay, there are no options that eliminate 100 percent of the risk. So while it’s still a good idea to pay for security solutions when you can afford it, you also should take some simple steps on your own to better your chances of avoiding an attack.

“The New Year is an ideal time to implement simple and effective methods to improve the cybersecurity of your small business,” said Feather in an interview with Small Business Trends.

Inexpensive Cybersecurity Measures

Here are some inexpensive cybersecurity measures from Feather that are easy to implement and don’t cost much (if anything).

Improve Your Passwords

Hopefully by this point, you’ve already changed all your passwords from “password.” But even if you have a password you think is secure, it can lead to trouble down the road if you repeat it on multiple accounts. So instead, you can invest in a password manager, which can range from about $15 to $40, to help you manage different secure passwords for every account.

Feather says, “First, start a good habit and adopt a password manager to secure your online accounts and to help avoid password fatigue — if ‘12346’ is still your password, it’s time to change.”

Delete Unused Accounts

When you’re going through all of those online accounts and changing passwords, you might notice some of them that you really don’t use anymore or that just don’t offer any value for your business. You might not think this presents any sort of threat, so you just leave them and stop logging in. But if you’ve shared any personal information on social media sites, for example, it could potentially give hackers answers to your security questions or other information that could harm your business. So instead, take the extra step of deleting or deactivating any accounts you no longer use. This step shouldn’t cost your business anything.

Feather adds, “Clean up your digital footprint by deleting or deactivating old and unused accounts which could publicly reveal sensitive information.”

Start Using Two-Factor Authentication

Finally, you can make your data even more secure by requiring more than just a password to log in. Two-factor authentication usually entails the user entering a password and then receiving a code via text or email that they then have to enter to actually access the account. It can also require other things like a fingerprint or even face scan.

Two-factor authentication is already available as an option on platforms like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Twitter. So it shouldn’t cost you anything but time to secure those accounts. You can also invest in a service that helps you set up two-factor authentication for your own systems for just a few dollars per month.

Feather says, “Opt to implement two-factor authentication at login. Simple text authorization can make the difference between a safe account and a compromised account.”

Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

One Reaction
  1. It is important to rotate passwords on a regular basis. Although most businesses don’t do it because they don’t like changing the passwords of their website.