4 Tips to Help Small Businesses Improve Their Data Security

Data security is a paramount issue for companies of any size, but it is especially important for small businesses and start-ups. Simply put, while a data breach can be catastrophic for any company, larger companies may have the financial means to survive such an attack — even a massive one — while small businesses in most cases do not

 

And in the case of start-ups, a data breach could mean an end to the business before it even gets going.

Recognizing your threat

Many small businesses believe they are immune to the threat of a cyberattack, but in fact the opposite is true. Instead, research from the Ponemon Institute shows cybercriminals have breached half of the small businesses in the U.S. in 2018.

Are you in that half? If you are, you may already be dealing with a cyberattack. It may also be possible that the attack occurred and you never knew about it. Either way, you can’t afford to take your cybersecurity for granted. 

Protecting your small business

While it may sound like a scare tactic, the true value of the information above is the realization that no business is too small to be the target of a cyberattack. Cybercriminals are increasingly looking to target small businesses, because in many cases the business’s cybersecurity is not on par with that of its larger brethren. That makes it an easier target. 

If your current cybersecurity leaves you vulnerable, the following tips can help you protect your business and its data.

* Know where you stand. Many small businesses fall victim to a cyberattack because they simply don’t understand what security measures they already have in place. Hiring an outside vendor to conduct a security audit can show your company where you’re protected and where you lack security. It’s a great way to pinpoint your weak spots and make sure you’re spending money in the right places.

* Bring everyone on board. Security breaches are often the product of an inside job, not because employees knowingly sabotage their business but because they make foolish mistakes that allow cybercriminals to prey on your data. Meet with employees to ensure everyone understands the vital role they play in protecting your company’s digital security and set strict policies governing computer usage and how employees should handle links and attachments before clicking on them.

* Beef up passwords. The passwords most employees use for their computers are embarrassingly simple, or just plain embarrassing. Nevertheless, demand your employees employ stronger passwords that cannot be so easily broken by the automated tools hackers use to “dictionary attack” your system.

* Store your data safely. Protecting your company’s technology can be a full-time job, and one most small businesses don’t have the resources to dedicate an FTE to. To ensure your company is protected at a level that meets your budget, partner with a technology services provider like ESX. We can manage your technology needs, including moving your digital information to a secure cloud solution, giving you peace of mind that your technology needs have been handled so you can focus on your business and not on a possible attack.

To learn more about how ESX can protect your small business or start-up from a cyberattack, contact us today.