Spring Cleaning Part 3: Six Ways for SMBs to Update Cybersecurity Policies and Reduce Risk

Minimum Risk Small Business Security Policy

Setting a high security standard is critical for any small business to protect their employees, customers, and essential data. A cybersecurity policy encompasses the actions, resources, and responsibilities necessary to safeguard your company from ever-increasing vulnerabilities or a data breach disaster.


The 2018 State of the Industry Report shows that 54 percent of Small and  Midsized Businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. do not have policies for storing and disposing of sensitive data for remote employees.


Ensure You Have an Up-To-Date Security Policy

An information security policy is a guideline for how your critical business information should be handled on a day-to-day basis and during instances of data vulnerability. It may seem overwhelming to create or update your policy if you don’t have an IT expert on hand. However, I’m going to outline how you can approach this today so that you can take control.  

Here are six areas to get you started:

  • Device Differences | Outline and recognize the differences in protecting BYOD and company-issued devices and how those standards differ. Keep track of what’s required to ensure all data is safeguarded, regardless of access point.
  • What’s Acceptable | Design your company’s policies around how employees interact with business-owned property; such as laptops, customer files, Wi-Fi networks, and company email, especially within mobile devices.
  • Document Safety | Decide where sensitive business documents should be stored, who has access to them, and who is responsible for overseeing this information.
  • Password Standards | Develop a cadence for when passwords should be updated and provide regular reminders to employees.
  • Network Expectations | Install a secure, password-protected Wi-Fi network for your employees, and a separate network for your clients and guests.
  • Breach Preparedness | Create a breach response plan to mitigate the cost and impact a breach may have on your business.

60% of small business employees have not changed default passwords, according to the 2019 Verizon Mobile Security Index.


Implement New Policy and Train Your Staff

Cybercriminals will always attempt to bypass your security systems by targeting your employees. Your employees must be trained to take the appropriate actions when facing a phishing email, updating devices, accessing information outside the office, or handling a data breach. Small business owners cite employee negligence, such as human error and accidental loss, as the root cause of 71 percent of SMB data breaches, according to the latest Shred-it State of the Industry Report.

Put your policy into action with regular training and testing. Every employee should have a role in the security of your company to ensure no vulnerabilities are left exposed and no safeguards are left to chance.

As we wrap up our three-part series, your small business should be ready to spring forward knowing your organization, employees, and reputation are secure. Take a look back at Part 1 and Part 2, in case you missed them:

Tips to Protect Your Small Business

  1. Prohibit the use of Public Wi-Fi. Accessing business documents from an unsecured network allows hackers to infiltrate sensitive information.
  2. Invest in Business Identity Protection. Safeguard your company from the devastating repercussions of a potential cyber threat or data breach, while also protecting your employees’ identities.
  3. Test Your Employees. Conduct quarterly tests to gauge the effectiveness of your cybersecurity policy.

    Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to get the latest breach and scam updates, ID protection news & tips from our industry experts!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John Burcham, Chief Privacy Officer at EZShield Fraud Protection
John Burcham is Corporate Counsel for EZShield. He is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional...
Read more about John Burcham.

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