Cyber security is a major part of any online business, and even smaller companies could be at risk of getting attacked or stumbling into a nasty virus. The more prepared you are for these risks, and the better you understand them, the easier it becomes to combat them if they ever turn up.

However, it is not easy to start preparing for cyber security threats when you might not even know what they are. Instead of trying to build up a plan from scratch, it helps to have some guidance that you can rely on.

Here are a few things to consider that might help you improve your company’s cyber security, no matter the scale or scope involved.

Take Care of the Basics

There are a lot of things that you can change without needing any specialist knowledge or ways that you can make your digital devices more secure. Basic tactics like using trustworthy antivirus software and rotating out passwords on a regular basis can make a huge difference to your business’ security.

No matter the size of the business, it is important to get the simple steps taken care of first. Tricks like backing up vital data will lay the groundwork for the rest of your business’s approach to security, so you want to get everything correct before looking into anything more complex.

A lot of these basic steps are going to be things that most internet-based companies will know of anyway. Password-protecting computers, restricting key folders, and limiting outside access to your Wi-Fi or network can all be important – but simple – ways of securing your business.

Educate Employees

One of the biggest security risks to any company is employee ignorance. While tech-literate people can identify scams or phishing risks online, the average employee might be a major vulnerability. Educating employees properly can be the difference between total security or constant data risks.

The best kind of training and education comes from ongoing programs that do not drain your own resources. Most businesses can’t afford to pause their operations for a week so that full training courses can run for each employee, so finding alternate methods that work can be important.

Of course, proper education can be tough, especially if you are not an expert on cyber security yourself. To get around this problem, you can work with specialist companies or third-party experts such as Phriendly Phishing, groups that will help provide in-depth training to employees.

Services like this make it much easier to keep all employees on the same page regarding the latest security threats. The more they know about some common risks and threats, the less likely they are to fall for some easily-avoidable scams or techniques that could severely damage your company.

Understand the Risks

Good education should go over the risks that you are likely to face, as well as the kind of response that suits them best. Your employees need to know the kind of problems that they can face and the appropriate ways to counter them or prevent any further harm to your business.

It is essential that you and your employees understand what kind of threats you will be facing and the kind of damage that they can end up causing to your data (or your business as a whole). Some may only be minor, impacting one or two computers at most, while others can ruin an entire company.

Having an idea of how these threats work can help you prioritize the way that you respond to them. Security awareness is not just about knowing your own security system, but understanding how that system should be used and which types of risk are the most severe.

For example, minor security threats might just try to install adware on a computer, something that can be cleaned off quite easily if you have a good antivirus and antimalware program. Major ones could corrupt or destroy data, including financial records or important tools that your business uses.

Understand your Options

This kind of education should also focus on the options that you have available and the ways that you can pre-emptively prevent cyber attacks. Preparing is just as important as reacting, and there are many ways to secure your company’s networks or online presence so that they are not as vulnerable to common threats.

No two businesses will have exactly the same systems, and they may end up having drastically different security measures, but they will still be aiming for the same thing: complete security. Groups like Phriendly Phishing are often able to help provide solutions that are tailored to individual clients rather than generalized (and flawed) options.

Employees should also be told about the best options that they have available so that they know the ideal ways to handle a situation. There may be multiple ways to combat malware, for example, but you want to make sure that your employees are choosing an option that limits further damage.

Run Tests

It is always a good idea to run tests on your own digital security, no matter how complex your methods might be. Running phishing simulations or paying white-hat hackers to try breaking into your network are both valid options and can help you find weaknesses or potential risks in your own network.

Some companies also decide to run drills relating to certain major threats (like ransomware taking over a computer) or regularly update their security software. However you decide to test your business’ own security, it is important to do it well and safely.

Working with a third-party company can help you skip a lot of the boring setup work and testing, ensuring that your business is going to be safe without taking manpower away from other projects. This could be invaluable for a smaller or newer business that only has a handful of employees.

Whatever you do, it is important to be educated, prepared, and sure of your own security measures. Never get too comfortable with your security options, and always assume that something might get through – especially if you do not keep updating and double-checking your own network.