Small businesses have a lot to manage, and often without a lot of resources to do so.
The focus is on keeping the business running smoothly, pleasing customers, and making a profit.
But in today’s digital world of non-stop news headlines reporting data breaches and fraud, making security a priority is important no matter what size business you own or manage. Many times, small business owners don’t have the resources to build a robust security protection platform for their business, so it goes on the backburner.
Imagine your business grinding to a halt because a hacker broke into your system and spread a debilitating virus that shut it down. Can you afford to be offline for a day or more until you can get operational, or even longer if it was a more serious incident that caused lasting damage to you and your customers? Having a plan in place and sticking to it is crucial to keep your business secure and moving ahead.
Tips to Keep Your Business Safe
- Protect Your Systems – No one is immune to cyber-attacks. The use of anti- virus, anti-malware, software firewalls, and automatic updates are all “a must have.” Get educated by your hardware and software providers and turn on the available defenses in your technology with your service providers.
- Make Someone Accountable – Assign one person in your office to be responsible for security procedures that you establish. From the training of new employees to validating data backups. Make it part of someone’s job.
- Educate your Employees – Security is like sales; it’s everyone’s job. Set expectations with what is appropriate and what is not. Use free resources from the Small Business Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Homeland Security, Better Business Bureau, and a multitude of other available educational aids for employees. Let them know cyber security is their responsibility.
- Use Pros – Small businesses can’t hire the security experts that larger companies can, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have access to them. When setting up a new office, using a professional will make sure that security is done right and the upfront costs can significantly offset the cost to your business if you are hacked, lose customer data, or your systems become unavailable.
- Think Resilience – Backups are important even for small businesses. If you manage your own technology, ensure that you backup all of your important systems and data to another offsite and safe location. Also, periodically test to make sure you can recover from those backups. If you use a service provider or a cloud service, make sure that there are service level agreements in place that dictate backup strategies and recovery times.