7 Things About Cybersecurity for Small Businesses Your Boss Needs to Know

Published on June 7, 2021

Small businesses understand the importance of cybersecurity, but there are certain things that bosses may not know, which keep them from fully benefiting from it.

For one, many have the wrong impression that being small keeps them from being a target, and so they postpone the decision to have cybersecurity for small businesses in place.

Others are intimidated by the expense, which they often blow out of proportion. There is also the debate whether to have one’s own IT department, co-source their IT, or outsource their services altogether.

Importance of cybersecurity for small businesses your boss need to know now

This blog post will discuss seven crucial aspects of cybersecurity for small businesses that any boss needs to know to make the right decisions for implementing it.

1. Data from business transactions and customer information are the most at risk.

Your small business records and stores data daily. But your boss may be unaware that they are prime targets for hackers who employ all sorts of tricks, such as phishing and social engineering, to steal them.

Knowing how vulnerable data are should prompt your boss to give them priority protection. Data breaches, especially confidential personal information, can ruin your business’s reputation and cause customers to leave.

2. Having a culture of cybersecurity for small businesses is crucial to its survival

Your small business cannot grow if it cannot survive the attacks that are surely coming its way. A culture of security built into every facet of your operation will instill a heightened sense of awareness and vigilance.

For example, make new hires aware of your security posture during onboarding. Regularly update staff on the latest scams and viruses. Keep all company devices protected, and see to it that software, web browsers, and operating systems are up to date.

It is also a clever idea to reward employees for alerting the boss against suspicious activity. It will provide a powerful incentive for everyone to stay focused on cyberattack protection.

3. Give data management top priority or lose everything if it is compromised. 

Data is what every cybercriminal is after. Guard it well or end up losing not just money but the trust of your customers.

The global total cost of a data breach averaged $3.86 million in 2020, according to the Cost of Data Breach Report researched by Ponemon Institute and published by IBM security. That is enough to put a startup out of business.

Good data management calls for regular backup of your company’s sensitive documents off-site or in the cloud. That way, you can restore them immediately in case of cyberattacks such as ransomware. Poor data management could also land you in trouble with data protection laws.

4. A small business needs to have a cybersecurity policy for everyone to follow. 

We have heard of outsiders continually finding holes in our company’s defenses, but we sometimes forget that a business is equally vulnerable to internal threats from misinformed and careless employees.

The boss can address the problem by educating everyone in the team about the need to be conscious of computer security and network security.

Preparing a comprehensive cybersecurity policy to guide everyone is a proactive step towards keeping the business secure from attacks.

5. If you use the Internet for business activity, you are a target. 

E-commerce and digital marketing have made online transactions the official mode of doing business. Unfortunately, any such activity puts you in the line of fire of cybercriminals eager to steal your precious financial and personal data.

You can counter the threat by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt data and protect your network.

Instruct your employees to inform you before making any online transaction that involves money and confidential data.

Discourage the use of personal devices at work because they could get infected while surfing the Web and introduce malware into your system. Instead, supply your staff with company devices with built-in safeguards. You should also remind them to always think of safe social media practices whenever they need to access social media platforms connected with their work.

6. Giving an admin account to many employees makes your small business vulnerable to hacking

It is often the practice among small businesses to spread admin access to critical operational hardware and software to most if not everyone in the team.

That strategy is very risky because admin accounts are the favorite targets of cybercriminals. A hacker can easily hack any account holder who lacks the proper training on safely using the privilege.

It is always a safe policy to limit admin accounts to only the necessary staff in your organization.

7. Transacting business on public Wi-Fi could open your employeeand your company to a data breach.

Even if your office Internet is down, it is not advisable to do business using public Wi-Fi even for a while. It is a hotbed for hacking activities where hackers routinely target mobile phones and tablets. It is also crawling with malware-laced apps, which many sites offer for download to unsuspecting users.

How to Put into Practice What You Have Just Learned

Now that you know why cybersecurity is vital to a small business, you should tell your boss about it.

There is no time to waste because an attack can happen any moment and inflict what every boss dreads the most – downtime. Any unplanned disruption could translate to an average of $10,000 per minute in lost production or sales.

Ask your boss to talk to a CyberHAWKS expert to learn how small business cybersecurity services can prevent it from happening.

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