As a small business owner, you are responsible for every aspect of the company. You might have to wear multiple hats like being the accountant, the head of human resources, and even the marketing manager. One hat you shouldn’t wear on your own, though, is within the IT department.
With cyberattacks on the rise in 2021, small businesses are finding themselves at risk due to their vulnerability and lack of security. The truth is, small businesses are just as vulnerable to cybersecurity threats as big businesses.
Poneman Institue conducted a research study that showed only 28% of small businesses feel confident in their knowledge and ability to prevent cyberattacks. The remaining 72% are left vulnerable to severe financial consequences.
How is your small business at risk and what can you do to prevent your business from falling victim? Let’s cover a few of the main ways in which you can protect yourself, your employees, and your company.
Setup Firewall Software
Firewall is your first line of defense when it comes to your digital assets and internet connection. It prevents outside sources to access data and information even on a private network (meaning, a network that is password protected and hidden). Many sophisticated hackers have the ability to beat even the most secure networks.
If you and your employees work from home, this is especially important as you are mixing business with pleasure. Including a firewall is just as essential for protecting all of your personal lives as well.
Create Password Protected User Accounts for Your Employees
If your business has multiple employees, you’ll want to ensure that each team member has their own private account. This prevents the unauthorized use of their assets to be used by other people within the company.
When cyberattacks occur, you also can decipher much faster where the initial breach began. The same report by the Poneman Institute stated that the weakest link within a small business’s security is through human error due to lack of knowledge on digital security.
With this in mind, you will also want to limt the access your employees have within each of these user accounts. Not every member of your team needs access to the most sensitive data and information. Only provide access to the things they need on for their daily tasks.
This also means not being able to download any software or third-party programs without direct permission from you as the ultimate decision-maker.
Get IT Support and Management
47% of small business owners have stated they have no understanding on how to protect their business from cyberattacks. However, very little of a company’s budget is spent on IT support. It’s fundamental to include budgeting for digital security for your business.
With an outsourced IT company, they can do a proper evaluation to see where the weaknesses are within your company and provide valuable and secure solutions for a business of any size. This will alleviate your time and energy to be spent elsewhere within your business, while also relieving stress from your plate. You’ll show up better for your company if you feel at ease knowing it’s safe.
Keep a Backup of The Essentials
It’s important to prepare for the worst. In case of a cyberattack, having a secure backup of all of your company’s essential data and information is craucial. It will allow you and your business to jump right back up on its feet in the worst-case scenario. This would include all of your financial files, databases, human resources information, accounting documents, and any other files that are deemed critical to running your business.
If you are choosing to have backups on a cloud server, make sure you are doing your due diligence on learning whether or not their system is also secure. Ask the right questions to protect your assets. Find out what they do to keep their clients safe from cybersecurity threats and who has access to your vital information.
You can’t always predict the future. It’s possible that despite your best efforts, a cyberattack could still occur. We strongly recommend outsourcing your IT management to another company that is qualified to handle your IT needs.