The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your Small Business

Importance of Cybersecurity for Your Small Business
The current business climate around the world has empowered millions of entrepreneurs to kick-start their own ventures, thus enriching the small business ecosystem with a growing number of companies. Some start and remain one-person endeavors, while others count hundreds of workers.

Whether your own small company counts a dozen of people or hundreds of them, there are so many factors that affect its success and stability. From finding eager employees, fending off the competition, all the way to building a recognized brand online, these brands have many challenges to cope with every day. One, however, stands out. Cybersecurity remains a top issue for small businesses everywhere, especially since their numbers are rising, and they make easy prey for hackers and cybercriminals.

It might take time to refine your security measures, but doing so means you are taking another step to prevent your most sensitive data from leaking, and to preserve your brand’s reputation in this competitive climate. The relevance of proper cybersecurity measures cannot be stressed enough, but we can certainly go over a few key methods you can implement into your strategy, and hopefully, you’ll build an entire security system that will protect your business across the board.

Understand The Risks And Consequences

In order to fight something, you need to know the enemy, right? In this case, every small business owner should have that basic understanding of the most common cybersecurity risks their business is typically exposed to. Of course, this will vary from one industry to another, but some of the most common threats really aren’t that picky at all and will try to find a way into any vulnerable small business system out there.

For example, malware such as viruses and ransomware are very common security threats that are designed to cause damage to your computer or servers. On the other hand, phishing is another common threat that can target individuals as well as entire systems, so teaching your employees to recognize phishing emails is essential.

Educate And Train Your Employees

More often than not, your employees are your small business’s biggest risk. This is a mindset most small business owners need to embrace in order to fully comprehend the extent to which they can represent a security issue unless they have the knowledge and the guidance on how to treat sensitive data. Best practices are something that differs from one business to another, and it’s your responsibility to help your team understand what they need to do in order to prevent data leaks and security breaches.
  • Teach your employees what the vulnerabilities of your business are and how to protect them with their own behavior.
  • Explain to them the importance of choosing and managing strong passwords, and teach them how to utilize password managers for their devices.
  • Continuously update your security protocols, but never fail to share the new information and guidelines with your employees.
  • Schedule regular workshops and training sessions to give your employees an overview of what they can and should do to protect your business, and teach them the latest security best practices.

Introduce An IAM Solution

Having competent people work with your data is a huge step forward for the security of your business. Still, as educated and well-trained your employees may be, the inherent risks of using the internet can be enough to expose your small business to the risks of online threats. With that in mind, you can benefit from yet another layer of cybersecurity called internet access management (or IAM for short). It should include a secure web gateway together with a comprehensive web filtering option so that you can prevent access to unauthorized and unsafe websites, reduce security risks, and simplify legal compliance.

This all-encompassing security option allows you to monitor and control the network within your business structure, and help your employees utilize the internet connection in safe ways. Preventing malware and virus attacks is another built-in feature, while data leak prevention is an added bonus. No matter how much you trust your employees, traffic, as well as application control, can be a major contribution to your overall security.

Update And Maintain Your Protective Software

Now that you have that basic understanding of what kind of threats you can expect and how they occur, you should also know that existing solutions with some of the most sophisticated protective features can help you protect your business data very effectively. While they are not the be-all, end-all for cybersecurity, such software programs indeed make a huge difference in how your data is treated, and how your systems function.
  • Use antivirus and antimalware software, and make sure to update these regularly so that you’re not exposing your business at any moment.
  • In addition to teaching your employees on strong password culture, you can use different password managers that not only store but generate complex passwords that you can change on a regular basis, reducing the risk of any kind of attack.
  • Utilize risk assessment tools that will help you conduct thorough sweeps of your system, and discover any potential threats to your business security.

Practice Data Backups Regularly

No matter if you have just a few computers or laptops within your business, and merely a handful of employees with access to those databases, regularly backing up all of your data is a must-do for all small businesses. When you have just a few employees, you can do the task manually, which might be a good option if you’re not handling too much sensitive data, to begin with. However, any financial transactions, any client information, employee data, and other potentially sensitive details should be backed up just in case.

Alternatively, you can implement an automated backup solution that will complete the task for you, for example, once a day. This is a great opportunity to simplify the process, avoid human errors (which can, once again, pose a security risk), and grant your teams more time to tackle more relevant, hands-on assignments instead of dealing with what is typically considered grunt work. If your business handles smaller loads of sensitive information, this process might not necessarily have to be completed once per day, but a weekly update could be enough. You can consult a cybersecurity specialist to conduct an evaluation, and then determine the most appropriate schedule for your business.

Although cybersecurity is just one piece of the puzzle when you run a small business, it’s essential for the sake of your long-term survival and success. Getting to know your weak links, recognizing potential solutions, and ongoing maintenance are all valid steps to add to your strategy.

Make sure that your employees, your business, and your clients are protected, and your reputation will remain unharmed. Hopefully, this overview has given you a glimpse into what you can do, and it will serve you as a go-to reminder of what you can do to protect your digital security for years to come.

AUTHOR_NAMEAbout the Author:
Lauren is a regular Bizzmark Blog author that has many articles published with the main focus on clients who want their brands to grow in the fast-changing and demanding market. Her personal favorites are successes of small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. She goes through life with one strong moto - Kindness, always.
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