Cybersecurity remains to be a crucial aspect of running a business no matter how small. Over the past years, cyberattacks have increased as more people rely on online gateways to pay for goods and services. While digital transactions provide high levels of convenience, they are also prone to cases of data theft and sabotage.
For this reason, small businesses will need to invest more time and money in enhancing their data security infrastructures. Doing so will not only prevent or minimize the effects of a data breach but also secure the bottom line and build trust. As a small business owner, you need to learn what approaches and tools to use in preventing costly cybersecurity attacks. Here’s a short guide to help you get started.
1. Acquire the latest anti-ransomware tools
Ransomware is a malicious program that’s designed to block access to critical data until a ransom is paid. It’s the latest cyber threat that small businesses will need to address. According to a Forbes article, recovering from ransomware can cost businesses around $2 million to recover.
In most cases, ransomware can potentially cripple your business and cause it to go bankrupt. With this in mind, you need to install anti-virus software that comes with ransomware detection and isolation features. Purchasing one can be expensive but it’s worth protecting your data assets from this serious data security threat. Before that, make sure to do any IT audit to see what security strategy to adopt for your business.
2. Use data encryption
Encryption is the process of turning raw data into a jumble of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also known as ciphertext, this code renders the data unreadable to anyone who intercepts it. This would be ideal if your business transfers sensitive data internally and externally. Turning on data encryption on all of your devices. This includes work PCs and mobile devices. You should also activate the SSL encryption on your web browser if you are using it to send emails and manage your inbox. In addition, you should also determine the level of encryption your business requires. In case you need optimal privacy, consider using asymmetric encryption. This uses two keys (a public key and a private key) to encrypt and decrypt data.
3. Safeguard customer information
Under regulations such as the GDPR and HIPAA, you need to let your customers know if you are sharing sensitive data to any third-party entity so long as there is consent. You need to make sure that customer data is stored safely away from prying eyes. One way to do this is to set up a cloud server that encrypts customer information and stores it offsite. If your business uses a credit card scanner for payments, make sure that the technology you are using transfers customer information offline.
4. Train your employees
Regardless of how many employees you have in your small business, you must make sure that they are all properly trained and equipped when it comes to handling passwords, accessing devices and files, and detecting suspicious attempts to breach your system. Taking the time to orient your employees on the role they have in data security can help you steer clear of costly cyber-attacks and data breaches, many of which are the result of human error.
As you set up your small business, you need to make sure it’s properly defended from the latest cyber threats. Consider these tips as you build it from the ground up.