Security · April 22, 2021

How to Secure Your Business From Cyberthreats When Working From Home

Whether you just started running a business from home or you've had a home-based business for some time, it's important to stay up to speed on the latest recommendations for safeguarding your company's information and systems. Learn how to secure your business with these working-from-home security tips and best practices. Keep your digital systems safe.


Secure your internet connection

Cybersecurity starts with the basics of running an online business: your internet connection. When you're researching business internet options, look for a provider offering an unlimited data plan, high-speed data and reliable customer service. And once you get your business internet account set up, remember to regularly change your home Wi-Fi network passwords—at least once per season—when you start running your business from home.

The same goes for any smartphones and data packages used for business. If you or your staff use personal phones for any work-related activity, make sure to update these devices' operating systems regularly, and use passcodes, facial recognition or thumbprint recognition for added security.

Ask your internet service provider, or ISP, about arranging a virtual private network, or VPN, for you and your work-from-home employees to create secure digital access between each person's home office and the remote server.

In addition, choose an ISP offering upload speeds of at least 10 megabits per second, or mbps, and download speeds of at least 50 to 100 mbps when choosing internet for a home-based business to maximize efficiency. Finally, ask your provider for their best current tips on how to secure your home-based business when it comes to online activity.

Protect your software systems

Cybersecurity also means checking your software for potential gaps that could put your business at risk. That's why it's important to review the privacy settings on each software package used. Not all employees need to get administrative access to all programs. Choose your settings wisely to protect your business.

Where possible, choose double-factor authentication options on all software. This might mean that in addition to a login password, users also key in a security code that gets texted to their work phones. Also, avoid reusing passwords, and change them at least quarterly.

If your business includes several employees, make sure to share the latest working-from-home security tips. Even better, create a brief Business Cybersecurity Technology and Internet Usage Policy reference document to organize your policies and best practices.

Don't delay when it comes to installing updates and patches to fix vulnerabilities in software systems. These are often rolled out to address newly identified security issues—especially for Windows-based programs. And remember, it's critical to update the operating systems on all desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones for all employees.

Run data backups regularly

Back up your data regularly, and store it in more than one place for added security. Your ISP should offer regular backup services on their servers. However, if an unexpected event impacts the data center—such as a power outage, fire or flood—your data could get damaged or even destroyed. So, consider backing up your regular data to other places as well, such as the following:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • iCloud
  • A portable hard drive

Consider cyber insurance

A cybersecurity breach could be costly for your small business. According to a recent report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cyberattack costs $3.86 million—a potentially devastating figure for many small businesses.

When determining how to secure your business in today's world, it's wise to get cyber insurance to prevent just that. Cyber insurance helps protect businesses against financial damage from cyberattacks and hacking activity by minimizing downtime, or the time when your business can't run due to the attack. Basically, it helps businesses protect against technology-related crime that could negatively impact your business.

By checking off all these boxes, you can put your business in a better position to mitigate the risk of cyber incidents. With the right protections in place, you can rest easier about your online security and focus on what matters most: growing your business.

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. First Citizens Bank (or its affiliates) neither endorses nor guarantees this information, and encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.

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