Money is always on the mind of all business owners, and many small businesses simply don’t have deep enough pockets to finance information security teams and resources to keep their businesses safe from IT security risks. Small businesses, commonly thought of as having 500 or fewer employees, constitute a majority of companies in the United States. Customers of these businesses expect their financial and other personal data to be secure. It can be overwhelming for small business owners that may not even have an IT department to think about how to handle their network security. Here are a few ways to make your online security a little safer if you are a small business owner.
Prepare For The Unexpected
The safety of stored data is important but life does happen. Mother nature could rear her ugly head in the form of a fire or flood. An insider threat or an outside theft could also impact the safety of the data of a small business. Have a backup plan. How can your employees continue working if the physical site is not available? Start to think of worst case scenarios and start to have a plan for disruptions that could last for the duration of the problem.
Check Out Your Employees
Do a thorough background check on prospective employees to check for criminal history (some business owners even check out prospective hires by looking at their public social media accounts and any history of filing lawsuits with former employers). When it comes to technology or cloud service providers, check out whatever they offer is in a signed contract with some kind of consequences if they fail to deliver.
Knowledge Is Power
Small business owners and managers have to have basic knowledge where the most important data is located. Are servers or desktops storing the data on site? Or are cloud services and mobile devices storing important data for your small business? Data storage, data processing, and access permissions should be documented.
Make sure to deploy the security basics such as firewalls and anti-malware. If your small business lacks online security expertise, look for outside tech support. Read articles, search online resources, and speak with other business colleagues to get tips about outside assistance dealing with online security. When disposing of old devices that store data, like computers, remove the hard disks and destroy them. Papers that hold sensitive personal and financial information about your customers should be shredded.
These are just a few ways to keep your small business a little safer for you and your customers. It may cost a little money, but when it comes to online security and the peace of mind that it brings, the cost is worth it to your small business.