Cybersecurity should be one of the biggest concerns for small businesses, but many ignore its importance. They think because they’re small and have very few customers that they’re not a target for hacks and online crimes.
However, research presented by Small Biz Trends indicates that about 43 percent of all cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, and 60 percent of businesses hit will go out of business within six months of the attack.
Cybersecurity for your firm
Yet, despite the continued cyber attacks and deadly consequences, only about 14 percent of small businesses say they have highly effective methods for mitigating cyber risks. If you’re part of the 86 percent that needs to work on protecting your online business, here are some things you can do.
1. Improve Physical Security
“Even if you utilize cloud-based platforms to run back-ups and provide a degree of separation or protection, your digital data is still sitting on a real-world server somewhere,” says an article from the security firm Bridewell Consulting. “That means that it is susceptible to all of the same problems that physical assets are within your business.”
Physical gaps in your security can cause serious online problems if you’re not careful. The use of security cameras, alarm systems, high tech locks, and other outside security measures can protect your data.
2. Protect Your Data
After you’ve focused on securing the perimeter, it’s time to concentrate on what’s inside. This goes beyond simple firewall technology that’s effective against low priority attacks, but won’t keep out bigger fish.
“The bottom line is CIOs (chief information officers) need to accept their company will be breached and shift their security strategy from ‘breach prevention’ to ‘breach acceptance’,” says Jason Hart, chief technology officer at digital security specialist, Gemalto.
Top-quality protection will involve encrypting all files so that they’re unreadable to unauthorized parties. You may not be able to keep out all breaches, but you can make the information useless to those who take it.
3. Train Employees
According to research, 80 percent of companies report employee carelessness as their biggest security threat, and about one third of all security breaches can be traced back to a negligent employee.
The trick to stronger cybersecurity is often found in employee training. Implement training sessions on things like common security problems, tactics for mitigating risk, the importance of secure information, and related topics. If you include a free lunch, you can easily combat some of the resistance to such training.
The importance of securing your organization from digital attacks is only growing. Every day, hundreds of attacks on small businesses are made, and those that are unsuccessful were prevented by strong security measures. If you haven’t yet brought some of these things into your daily routine, now is the time to do so.