A lot of conversations over the last six months tend to lead back to digital security for small businesses. Why small businesses? Large businesses tend to be able to support the hiring of in-house IT staff or top tier security firms to monitor their digital properties around the clock. With small businesses allocating funds strategically, this tends to be an area that is lacking.
“60% of Small Businesses can be expected to be hacked in a calendar year”
What small businesses fail to realize though is that once you’re hacked, it can cost thousands of dollars to restore a complete network or website to normal operations. So the cost month to month might seem like an added expense, but is it worth having your digital presence disrupted for weeks at a time?
Here are 7 things that Small Businesses can do to keep their digital presence safe:
- Know the risks and how they evolve
- Malware and hackerss are smart and they change day to day. By not addressing your security, you risk being able to prevent a variety of attacks from multiple directions. If you CHOOSE not to, you risk shutting down your email servers, website slowdown or downtime, and the possibility of breach of client information
- Don’t Skimp on Security
- Yes, it is an added expense. But is $70/month worth peace of mind from when you need to spend $3000 to fix a major issue? Not to mention it may happen to you more than once a year. Once your site is attacked and they succeed, they will continue to try it again because you’ve been marked. Do you drive with out car insurance? Food for thought.
- Embrace the telephone for confirmation
- Never be afraid to call someone up if you have any suspicion about being hacked. If Fred sends you an email that looks weird, don’t open the attachment and give him a call. He may have unwillingly unleashed a massive hack into his companies system and if you take the bait, your company is next.
- Employee Training
- We spend a lot of time educating small business owners and their staff (Contact us to set up a consultation) on the warning signs and threats out there. If you don’t want the bouncer protecting the house day and night, at least teach the staff to fight…Knowing what to look for in emails, acute changes to the website or speed, and warning emails from clients and customers should never go without a follow-up.
- Limit Physical Access to Company Data
- It’s not that you don’t trust your employees, but you only want a few people involved with data storage. This limits the casualties in the case of a breach and the leaking of information. Not only that, but it allows you to make sure that people with access have the right training and credentials to be working in that space. Have you ever seen the person in the office that clicks the mouse 15 times in a row when it doesn’t open a window right away? Do you want that person to have access to your sensitive company data? Didn’t think so.
- Keep your website updated
- We spend a lot of time with our clients on this topic. This is the number one way for hackers to gain access to your website; things that go with out being updated create holes and gaps in your site and it’s a perfect fit for a hacker to get in. The reason software gets routinely updated is to close these gaps and protect you. If you lapse on updating these plug-ins or software, you’re leaving the first floor house window open for someone to come in. This is easy and inexpensive to keep up with, don’t let this one go.
- Stay protected
- Even if your budget doesn’t allow for 24/7 monitoring, it is worth having a company do periodic sweeps of your website and digital properties. There are times when your site is infected and you would have no idea. It’s there, it’s hiding, and taking the data it wants while no one pays attention. If it goes too long, then they start inviting their friends over to the party and that’s when everything starts to go haywire. Have something in place. ANYTHING. It is better than nothing.
This is a very important topic that should not be ignored. You may think because you’re small, no one would want to hack you but you’re wrong. Hackers want to disrupt and collect data, all of which your site can provide no matter how big or small your presence is. Make sure you put something in place and schedule it out long term. You’ll be happy when your site doesn’t go down and disrupt your business. Let us do a Free assessment for you and find out how you can keep your business protected.