Owning a small business is never an easy task – with limited manpower and resources, it often falls to the owner to complete the vast majority of business-related tasks, none of which relate to the front-facing, customer service side that makes all the money.
In short, maintaining a successful small business is like spinning a thousand plates – and that’s without having to worry about your cybersecurity.
In a world where more and more of daily operations, business operations or otherwise, are completed online, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Cloud-based systems including online data storage offer a myriad of benefits, including easy access to files wherever you are and an extra copy of your files safe from physical threats or damage – but the online nature of cloud-based systems presents inherent security issues that must be acknowledged unless you’re ready to face the consequences.
Read on to find out more about keeping your small business cybersecure.
· Stay Informed
The first and potentially most crucial step in protecting your small business is to stay informed. This is easier said than done, though, as the world of technology and online devices continues to improve, evolve, and move forward at an ever-increasing pace – making staying informed an ongoing task.
However, there are endless numbers of resources online, that can bring you up to speed not only on the history and impact of cyberattacks and their nature, but also on the latest preventative measures and possible future threats too.
· Protect mobile devices
Especially for small business owners, using mobile devices such as smartphones is an efficient and convenient way of staying on top of admin and client communications, as well as checking in with the rest of the team.
However, mobile devices suffer from the same security vulnerabilities as desktops or a Workstation Laptops, meaning it’s important not to forget to secure your mobile devices if they are regularly used for working purposes.
An aspect that makes phones different is that they are often connected using 4G or 5G, which is accessed through public networks, as well as connecting to WiFi in train stations and cafes. For this, a VPN (Virtual Private Network) will help to keep your information encrypted.
· Identify your most valuable assets
Much like protecting any physical asset, knowing the importance of the asset is the first place to start, as this allows you to invest appropriate time and energy in the defense of these assets. While conducting your own cyberthreat assessment may be slightly beyond the skillset of a small business owner, there is a logical process that can be followed to ensure that nothing valuable is forgotten and left with weak defenses.
In the modern day, even small businesses manage a vast amount of data online, including sensitive customer information, payment details, website logins and admin, as well as any information regarding USPs and business strategy.
Knowing exactly where your vulnerabilities lie will help to condense the situation in your mind, rather than it being a vast undertaking with many unknown factors.
While there is no singular solution to solving your small business cybersecurity, there are a number of steps that a small business owner can take to ensure they stay free of any outside, malicious interference.