8 Essential Cyber Security Best Practices for Small Businesses

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Estimated yearly cost of cybercrimes to Australian business.


48% Of Insurance Policies are NOT paid due to non-compliance


The average cost of a cyber attack to a small business.


Billion Breaches annually and growing

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8 Essential Cyber Security Best Practices for Small Businesses

In the past, security for small businesses mainly looked like CCTV footage and alarm systems. But nowadays, cyber security has, for many businesses, overtaken physical security in terms of priority.

While every business is different, their cybersecurity measures will largely look the same. The great thing about best cybersecurity practice for small businesses is that most businesses will share similar threats, which Real Innovation Group seeks to address. There’s also the other huge factor which acts as a backup to one of these security controls falling through: cyber insurance!

Let’s outline 8 essential cyber security practices for small businesses and the importance of having insured ICT services, explained by Australia’s specialists at Real Innovation Group.

The Essential Eight

The Essential Eight is a set of 8 controls which can be applied to every business and organisation in Australia. From small businesses to large corporations, the Essential Eight tackles a comprehensive scope of cybersecurity issues:

1) Application control

Application control prevents the execution of malicious code, or malware in systems. It involves detecting applications which are allowed to be used, and developing controls to ensure only those which are permitted are accessible. To implement application control, you need an overview of all applications and processes run by users in your network. Tracking unusual activity and acting upon it is also a big part of application control.

2) Patch applications

Managing application patches involves testing, acquiring and installing code changes, or patches, on your computer systems. Here, we’re aiming to repair vulnerabilities in your systems and identify defects, helping your organisation stay updated and secure.

3) Configure Microsoft Office macro settings

It’s important that users aren’t able to execute Microsoft Office macros unless they have a specific business requirement. Configuring your Microsoft Office macro settings in this way is essential to preventing malware attacks and protecting important information which your Microsoft documents may contain.

4) User application hardening

‘Malvertising’ is often used in cyber criminals’ attempts to compromise systems. Blocking web advertisements by using web browser add-ins or extensions, or via web content filtering, can prevent the compromise of a system.

5) Restrict administrative privileges

It’s highly advisable to restrict administrative privileges in your organisation to a select few. The ACSC advises organisations to identify tasks that require privileged access, create separate attributable accounts for personnel who conduct privileged operations and limit the escalation of critical activities. The less you have to monitor and be wary of privileged access accounts, the less open you are to a cyberattack in this way.

6) Patch operating systems

Patching operating systems is similar to patching applications; here, we check for certain vulnerabilities in your operating systems and test patches for safety before deploying them.

7) Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

MFA has bolstered system security tremendously since its widespread implementation over the past decade. The ACSC also recommends visual notifications for each authentication request and storing software certificates in the trusted platform module of your devices.

8) Regular back-ups

The final control of the Essential Eight is regular backing-up of all your data. Online and offline back-ups should be regularly conducted and measures should be implemented to indicate when a breach has occurred.

Real Innovation Group cyber insurance

Sadly, implementing these 8 security measures isn’t always enough to prevent a cyber breach, which is why cyber insurance is absolutely vital. After the recent Medibank, Optus and Telstra hackings, it’s made getting cyber insurance a lot more difficult. Our ICT support, however, is fully insured.

If you’re looking for top quality managed cyber security services for small business, Real Innovation Group offer ICT Support that’s insured. We’ve put our money where our mouth is, and there’s no excess to pay ever! Prevent problems, get innovative solutions and save money all at the same time when you talk to the team at Real Innovation Group and inquire about our top quality cybersecurity services.

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