When you own or manage a small business, you have a lot of responsibilities. And with 72% of businesses stating that their top priority is improving customer service, a lot of focus goes towards attracting customers and making sales. But if you don’t have strong cybersecurity, then your business is at risk of being hacked — and that could cause you to go out of business. So in this article, we’re going to go over a few simple steps small businesses should take to protect themselves from cyber attacks.
Make Sure Your Employees Are Properly Trained
Cybersecurity actually doesn’t begin with technology — it begins with the people using technology. All employees should be properly trained in cybersecurity. This doesn’t mean they have to be experts at technology and coding, but rather they should know a few basic ways to protect themselves and the company when using computers. Employees should always use strong passwords for their work accounts and update them regularly. And you should also conduct frequent, ongoing training for staff members on cybersecurity. This training should include how to spot scam emails and promotions, what to do when you receive a scam email, and which steps to take if they think they’ve been hacked. With 94% of people saying web design is the reason they mistrusted or rejected a site, all employees should know when something looks sketchy and isn’t adding up.
Limit Access to Important Data
Every company has files that are sensitive. Whether it’s the company’s financial records, payment information, or customer data, these files need to be secured because this kind of information is what hackers are after. This certain sensitive data should be accessed only by the employees who absolutely need it. Not every employee needs access to every part of the company’s data. If everyone has access to this information, it can easily get breached if someone is careless with their passwords or even their computer. So access should be limited as needed. Additionally, all of these files of important information should be backed up and stored offsite for safe keeping. Also, make sure you can trust each and every one of your employees. Employee theft and fraud, like embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets, are all too common.
Have Policies for Personal Devices
In today’s technology-focused world, people are always connected, mainly through their personal devices. And if employees use their personal phones or laptops for work, companies need to be aware of this. Most personal devices are much easier to hack than work computers because they probably don’t have the proper firewalls in place. This makes them an easy target for cyber attacks. With that in mind, companies should have policies in place regarding accessing company information from personal devices. Company managers should talk to employees about installing monitoring software on their personal devices to protect company information — or companies should restrict access from personal devices. Either way, making sure employees are safely accessing company data from personal devices is essential.
Safety and security should always be a priority for businesses, particularly small companies. So while it’s essential to focus on the physical safety of employees, especially with 15 out of 100,000 construction workers dying on the job, it’s essential to focus on cybersecurity as well. With increased cyber attacks, following these simple steps will help small businesses better protect themselves.