TLDR: Even if your small business doesn’t yet require a fully staffed IT team, if it has a network and is connected to the internet then it should follow these best practices below.
For small businesses that have just setup their first office network but aren’t yet in need of a the high power security measures that would require a team of IT professionals, there are still several basic measures they should implement. First, make sure your network password is very strong meaning a lengthy string of random case-sensitive letters, numbers, and symbols so that hackers can’t gain access by using simple dictionary attacks. Further, make sure each employee has an equally difficult password for their office computer user accounts and since both these strong passwords are typically hard to remember, make sure your employees don’t leave them written down on a piece of paper or a Post-It where anybody could find them. Also limit access controls so that many employees won’t have access rights to sensitive areas of your office network. This way employees couldn’t do damage if they became disgruntled and also wouldn’t allow anyone else to do damage your system if they somehow gained a hold of those workers’ lower level login information. Smallbiz Tech continues with some more tips, “Have a look at all your sensitive data and make sure that no unauthorized person can potentially gain access to it. Keep all that data behind lock and key. It’s best if you actually keep such data as far away from the network as possible. Don’t use anything except WPA2 encryption in your Wi-Fi key. Anything less than that, and you’re inviting people to sniff your access point. If you must use a router, get something meant for small businesses, not a home router. Small business routers typically have a more advanced firewall with strong authentication features. These routers can protect your private network while managing your access to the outside world. They also set up proper VPNs that let you and your employees access your private network without having to rely on third parties. Run anti-virus software on your network and devices. This will help you to stop, remove and prevent the spreading of viruses, worms or trojans that may attack your system. It never hurts to have a software firewall running in your systems. A good software firewall works well as a last line of defense. Software firewalls fill in the gaps that routers cannot. Don’t forget to keep computers used by guests away from your private network…”