Moving your small business online is a great way to build your business brand and help open up brand new avenues to market your product or service.
However, opening your business up online can also leave you open to cyber-attacks, which means that in addition to developing a website and strong digital marketing strategy, you need to think about developing a strong cybersecurity policy.
While a cyberattack is potentially harmful regardless of who is the victim, for a business it can be even more damaging and potentially deadly.
If you are attacked then not only could you lose data, personal info, and money, but you also could lose the data, personal info, and credit information of your customers.
This can result in a large loss of credibility and an image problem that cannot be repaired
It is estimated that as much as 43 percent of all cyberattacks online target small businesses. This is because they are least likely to have a strong cybersecurity team on standby.
They are also less likely to think thoroughly about all of the security risks that exist online.
The good news is that there are security firms that can help you mitigate the risks and protect your business, whether you are a small or large business.
Companies like Wavestone US offer a wide array of security services such as infrastructure security, cloud security, cyber resilience, and data protection that can be rolled together into a customized package designed to meet the needs of individual businesses.
You would be wise to consider enlisting the help of a cybersecurity company to protect the future of your company, but in the meantime here are some general cybersecurity guidelines you can adhere to now to help safeguard your business from cyberattacks online.
Encourage Security Conversations Within Your Business
First off, you need to ensure that the culture within your business encourages security. If it is not on the radar of your employees then you are at even high risk because.
Technologies cannot help employees that leave open holes that malicious hackers can exploit.
The same way you would not buy an expensive security system and leave the front door open, you cannot invest in cybersecurity technology and fail to train your employees on safe online practices.
To start, if it isn’t already, security awareness training should be mandatory training that all employees complete on a yearly or semi-yearly basis.
Everyone can use a reminder, and security threats evolve daily, so your employees’ knowledge of safe practices needs to evolve as well.
Not only should this training cover the different types of cyber and social cyberattacks, but also teach preventative practices.
Finally, employees need to know how to stop an attack once it is launched. The quicker an attack is shut down, the lower the risk of significant losses.
Distribute a Cybersecurity Policy
It is not enough to simply educate your employees about safe cybersecurity practices, you need to hold them accountable for their actions. You can do this by creating a cybersecurity policy and distributing it to all employees.
This plan should cover how to detect scams, instructions for creating secure passwords, and outline how employees are allowed to access the internet at work.
Personal use of the internet should be minimized or explicitly restricted within the policy so there are no gray areas that leave employees to make poor decisions.
In addition, the policy should outline who should handle security threats and the proper chain of contact if an employee notices something that they think may be a problem.
The cybersecurity policy also needs to explicitly outline how any sensitive data is handled to ensure that remains secure at all times. This may include restricting access to sensitive data to certain employees or approved departments.
Always Encrypt Your Data
When in doubt, encrypt should become the mantra of your workforce. The best way to secure your business data is by encrypting the data at all times.
There is no wrong time to encrypt data, because you will never regret taking one extra step, but you will regret exposing sensitive data if you fail to do so at an inopportune time.
Encryption ensures that even if your data is accessed by a third party, they will not be able to read it because they cannot present the proper authorization.
Encryption helps keep sensitive information safe and ensures that all emails and files sent between employees are not interceptable.
Leaks occur when there is a breakdown in encryption somewhere along a work chain, taking one extra step can help protect your company and employees at all times.