6 Tips to boost your business cybersecurity

Andrew Dowrick

More businesses are operating online than ever before. As a digital-first business, your team handles sensitive information about your company (such as bank details, email systems, and file sharing) that can be targeted and compromised by cybercriminals. 

The latest data tells us that cybercrime is becoming more common and sophisticated. In fact, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) receives a new cybercrime report every 10 minutes, with 62% of Australian business owners reporting to have experienced a cyber security incident. 

An unexpected attack or security breach can shut down your operations, breach privacy contracts with your clients and cause reputation damage for your business. Plus, with a growing SaaS tech stack, your business could face a greater chance of security threats. 

However, setting up effective cybersecurity practices is easier than you might think. Let’s run you through six practical steps you can take to boost your cybersecurity practices and safeguard your business against security breaches.

Tip 1. Create a cybersecurity policy 

First, it’s important to spell out exactly how your team should work online and how to handle confidential data. 

With a thorough cybersecurity policy in place, you’ll be able to educate your entire organisation about what cyber threats look like, how to minimise the chance of data breaches and how sensitive data should be handled and stored online. 

You should tailor your cybersecurity policy to how your business operates, the size of your team, and the kind of data and information you store. However, every policy should cover these key things: 

  • Password requirements: make sure you’ve got a secure password management system to ensure your team sets strong passwords as well as stores and shares passwords securely, too.
  • Email security:  communicate what’s appropriate behaviour on work email accounts and best practices for opening email attachments and links, blocking junk and spam emails and how to identify and report suspicious emails. 
  • Software updates: ensure your team keeps their devices and software up to date to lower security vulnerabilities and prevent security breaches. 
  • Wi-Fi connections: ensure your team understands the risks of using public Wi-Fi networks and how to secure their internet connection at home using the strongest encryption protocol currently available (WPA2).  

Tip 2. Choose your tools wisely

On average, organisations with fewer than 100 employees have a whopping 102 SaaS subscriptions (and counting). With a growing SaaS tech stack, your business needs to make sure you’re picking the right tools with proper security measures in place. 

Check that all of your SaaS tools use two-factor authentication (like we do at Cape) to prevent security breaches that could compromise your sensitive data.  

By confirming  your identity every time you log in to a piece of software, you’ll be able to catch unauthorised access in real-time. Plus, be certain your tools have the right alerts (either by email or text) to give you a heads up when an unexpected log-in attempt happens.

Tip 3. Secure your payments

One of the best ways to safeguard against fraud is to have a process for managing payments. Invoice scams are becoming more common, so you need a procedure for double checking account details before paying a new supplier. 

When working with a new supplier or receiving an invoice with new payment details, ensure your accounts team is picking up the phone to verify these changes before actioning payments. 

Tip 4. Set up encryption

While it might sound complicated, encryption is a lot simpler than it seems. In a nutshell, encryption works to scramble and randomise data so that only authorised parties can access it. 

One of the most important places to encrypt is your company’s email accounts. That’s because you’re likely discussing sensitive information that needs to be protected from outside attacks. 

As a first step, make sure your email provider has in-built encryption software. To go above and beyond to secure your systems, look into third-party encryption tools that can prevent messages from being intercepted. 

Tip 5. Leverage a monitoring tool

A security monitoring tool is a great way to keep tabs on your business’s overall security. This software looks at your business holistically and monitors all your applications, firewalls, security measures, and systems to prevent and catch cybersecurity threats. 

Usually, you’ll be able to review your entire system from one secure dashboard and zoom into the status of each employee’s devices. The best tools even allow you to resolve security threats in the monitoring tool and amend your policies to keep your business secure.

Tip 6. Create a disaster recovery plan and backups

Last but not least, you’ve got to have a plan in case the worst-case scenario happens.

If a cybersecurity attack occurs, you want to have your data backed up, so your business operations aren’t interrupted. Plus, you need to have a process in place if a data breach occurs so you can regain access to your accounts and restore your security settings as quickly as possible. 

When boosting your business cybersecurity, being proactive and getting your plans in place ahead of time will set you up for success. By vetting your SaaS subscriptions, looking for security tools (like two-factor authentication), and having a Plan B, you can minimise the chance of cyber attacks and keep your business running smoothly.