3 things you should know about data security as a small or medium size business
When you run a small business, you have a lot going on. Bringing in new business, meeting client deadlines with a small team, managing employee benefits, payroll, admin; the list is endless.
One of the last things you worry about, is data security. There are several reasons to that, but the main one is that you don’t consider yourself to be a ‘big enough fish’ to be attacked. That is not the case. The general assumption is that no one will attack you because you are small, however, the agenda of most hackers is credit card and identity theft, and since small businesses are easier targets, hackers don’t shy away from attacking them. Small businesses, as a fact, are susceptible to IT risk.
If you find yourself thinking beyond the lack of time, lack of budget, and/or lack of expertise when it comes to prioritizing data security in your organisation, this blog is for you. The best thing you will do for your business is to secure it, no matter what the size.
As an entrepreneur, we are sure you follow certain best practices that will protect you from such attacks. Regular backup of data, installing anti-malware software, and at some organisations we have even seen practices of using user multi-factor authorization. These steps are critical, but add to these the following three things that you should do to ensure data security.
Double down on firewalls. Yes, we are talking about the internet you use in your organisation. Most routers today come equipped with a built in firewall, but the lack of knowledge about this often means we don’t turn that on. Do it! That’s step 1.
The next step is ensuring you have firewalls on your PC as well. Organisations use multiple software's that send data over the internet. Ensuring a firewall on your PC ensures that doesn’t happen.
Get Professional Help
We have three words for you. Managed IT Services. You are a startup. You are good at what you do. Keep doing that. It’s this reason that the IT Service Industry is booming today. IT Services Provides game with a host of experience and knowledge and can help you manage the security of your organisation, allowing you to do what you do best.
These organisations not only prevent future attacks, but in a case you are attacked, they are equipped to defend against them and get your IT infrastructure up and running soon after to ensure your business doesn’t suffer. All these services also come at a cost that is much lower than what you would pay if you were to hire an IT team in-house. Aspire NXT is one such service provider and can help you with all your data security needs.
It’s a constant, isn’t it. As entrepreneurs we train our employees to do a bunch of different tasks that helps them deliver. Let’s add this one to the list as well.
Password changing is a pain, but they must have safe passwords that are complex and not easy to crack. Follow the instructions - lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, numbers - ensure their passwords are secure. If you have a BYOD rule, enforce these password rules on those devices as well. Create a cyber security policy, and get employees to sign on those. Ensure they follow best practices in handling of your organisational data. Last but not the least, if you have an employee exiting your company, ensure that proper protocols in terms of data handover are followed. You don’t want an unhappy employee with an active account handling your company data.
Yes, yes. You run a small business and your employees are anyway doing way too much. But this is important, and you don’t want to be caught in a situation that can cause your client, or your own employees harm from their data breach.
The checklist is long, and as a small business you may often find yourself questioning if it’s even worth it. Simply put - it is. So don’t overthink this, or wait for an attack to happen to take measures. Act today, and save yourself and your employees a ton of problems in the future.