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A Business Leader's Beginner Guide to Cybersecurity Take advantage of available cybersecurity solutions to protect your business and its digital assets.

By James Jorner Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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According to Statista, there are about 4.57 billion active internet users globally as of July 2020. This number is great for businesses, especially those that are powered by the digital economy.

As businesses continue to embrace the tech age as well as the opportunities that come with it, the presence of cybercriminals is increasing, too. The activities of these criminals cannot be ignored, as they are capable of crashing any business. Business leaders who wish to remain in business must pay better attention to cybersecurity.

Related: The Real Cost of a Data Breach for Your Brand (and How to Best Protect Yourself)

Whilst there is no definitive solution to what is seen as the biggest threat to modern businesses – cybercrime — business owners like you can take advantage of available cybersecurity solutions and knowledge to protect your business and its digital assets. Below are three things to help you get started:

1. Get everyone involved

The days when cybersecurity was seen as just the job for the IT team are over. Business leaders all over the world are realizing this and you need to do the same.

In a Harvard Business Review, cybersecurity experts Thomas J. Parenty and Jack J. Domet insist that no amount of technology, resources, or policies will reverse the trend that has seen cybercrimes rise. "Only sound governance, originating with the board, can turn the tide. Protection against cyberattacks can't be treated as a problem solely belonging to an IT or cybersecurity department. It needs to cast a wide and impenetrable net that covers everything an organization does--from its business operations, models, and strategies to its products and intellectual property."

Related: Why IT Security Will be a Prime Concern for Businesses in the Next Decade

A cyberattack can occur when an innocent employee clicks a malicious link from a device belonging to the business. The drill has to affect the least person associated with the business. There is a real threat out there, your business and her assets are at stake. Everyone in your business needs to understand this as much as you do.

2. Develop a policy on cybersecurity

Preaching about the importance of cybersecurity alone may not get the job done, a policy that spells out your business' protocols with regards to cybersecurity is necessary. A cybersecurity policy sets the standards of behavior for activities such as the encryption of email attachments and restrictions on the use of social media.

Non-IT employees are usually the weakest links in cybersecurity efforts. These employees typically share passwords, click on links, download attachments, with little knowledge about encrypting data. All of these open the door to cyberattacks and can comprise the security of your business.

Setting up a policy on cybersecurity would help your employees and third parties with access to your digital assets understand how to keep your data secured and safe from the prying eyes of cybercriminals. You must take responsibility for creating a culture that prioritizes security; this would enhance the credibility status of your business.

Related: Why Small Businesses Must Deal With Emerging Cybersecurity Threats

According to FCC, adhering to the following tips would help to ensure the security of your business and her digital assets:

  1. Protect information, computers, and networks from cyber attacks

  2. Create a mobile device action plan

  3. Make backup copies of essential business data and information.

  4. Control physical access to your computers and create user accounts for each employee

  5. Secure your Wi-Fi networks

  6. Employ best practices on payment cards

  7. Limit employee access to data and information, limit authority to install software

  8. Passwords and authentication

Setting up a policy on cybersecurity for your business might seem like another tedious task or process to execute, but the benefits outweigh the cost: do it now!

3. Get a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The risks of going online are enormous. The reality is this: if you are not online then cybercriminals stand no chance with you. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool that allows you to interact with the internet anonymously, thereby drastically reducing your exposure to cybercrimes.

With leading VPN providers like Express VPN, Nord VPN, and Switcherry offering unlimited speed, unlimited Bandwith, and free servers in the US help individuals and businesses tackle the prevalent cyber threats and keep their digital assets free from prying eyes by providing a secure connection from all types of tracking.

Cybersecurity is necessary for the survival of your business in the world of today. Get started on your journey to cybersecurity with the vital tips shared in this post.

James Jorner

Business Development Manager

James Jorner is a digital marketer and social media advocate who aims to help businesses identify, connect, and engage their audience through digital media channels. He's the head of digital at Effective Inbound Marketing.

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