Cyber security and micro businesses

A micro business in Australia is usually taken to mean a business of 1 to 4 people. That might be a single sole trader or a boss and a couple of employees. Almost half of all business cybercrimes in this country are against Small and Medium Enterprises. Small businesses are far more vulnerable than big business just because they don’t have the resources big business has. They might represent a smaller theft but they are so easy to knock over.

They average take for a successful cyber crime against a small business is around $40,000 and there is one about every 7 minutes.

This blog concentrates on Google Workspace which is a suite of business productivity offered by Google for businesses. It is widely used but these are general tips that are useful for any small business.

We are not getting any kind of commission from Google. We recommend Google because it is widely used and allows small business to take advantage of Google’s vast resources and experience at a modest expense. BUT!!!!!! Workspace is no guarantee and you need to be careful, think ahead and make sure that everyone is trained on what to be careful about and why. 90% of successful attacks are successful only because of human error.

As a micro business owner, it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with running a business. Cybersecurity should be a top priority for any business. Even if you don’t have a website and are a very traditional kind of enterprise – you are still at risk. Because everything around you is web based – banking, invoicing, recruitment and a lot, lot more. In this article, we will explore some tips on how micro businesses can protect themselves from cyber threats, especially when using Google Workspace.

Google Workspace is a cloud-based productivity suite that provides businesses with a range of tools and features for communication, collaboration, and document management. These tools include Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Calendar, among others. While Google Workspace is a convenient solution for small businesses, it also comes with potential risks that should not be overlooked.

Here are some tips for micro businesses to help keep their Google Workspace account secure:

Strong Passwords: Passwords are the first line of defence when it comes to cybersecurity. It’s important to choose strong passwords that are difficult to guess or crack. Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to make your password more complex. Also, avoid using personal information such as your name or birth date in your password.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Two-Factor Authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account. It requires a second form of identification, such as a code sent via SMS to your phone, to access your account. This ensures that even if someone has your password, they still can’t access your account.

Keep Software Up-to-Date: Keeping your software up-to-date is essential for security. Make sure to regularly update your Google Workspace applications, web browsers, and operating system to ensure that you have the latest security patches and fixes.

Secure Your Devices: Protect your devices with antivirus and anti-malware software. Keep your devices locked when not in use and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to access your Google Workspace account.

Limit Access: Limit the number of people who have access to your Google Workspace account. Only grant access to those who need it, and ensure that they are trustworthy individuals.

Back-Up Your Data: Backing up your data is important in case of a security breach or data loss. Use Google Drive to back up your important files and documents regularly.

Educate Employees: Educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices. Train them on how to identify phishing emails, suspicious links, and how to keep their devices secure.

Examples of how Google Workspace can improve cybersecurity for micro businesses:

Gmail Filters: Google Workspace allows users to set up filters to block spam and phishing emails. By creating filters, businesses can automatically send suspicious emails to the spam folder or delete them entirely.

Google Drive Sharing Permissions: Google Drive allows users to set sharing permissions for individual files or folders. This allows businesses to control who has access to their sensitive data and ensures that only authorised personnel can view and edit files.

Google Vault: Google Vault is a tool that helps businesses retain, archive, and search for email and chat data. This tool can help businesses comply with legal requirements and provide an additional layer of security for sensitive data.

Cybersecurity is an essential aspect of running a micro business. By implementing the tips mentioned above and utilising the security features available in Google Workspace, micro businesses can reduce the risk of cyber threats and protect their sensitive data.

Remember that it is not just stolen money but your reputation that is at risk. The recent high profile cyber attacks against Medibank, Optus and Latitude have not only caused huge losses directly (literally, hundreds of millions) but also in lost customers.

If you would like some advice on all of this, please call us on 1300 268 800