Unfortunately, the answer to the question, “Is my small business susceptible to cybercrime?” is almost always Yes. The truth is that unless your business does not do any business on the web, including ordering lunch for the office from your smartphone, your business is at risk of data theft.
But likely, this is familiar to you. Cybercrime is no longer a new phenomenon; the perpetrators are constantly on the prowl for new sites to attack and continuously improving their methods.
To make matters worse, this type of crime is complicated to solve. The attacks become more sophisticated with each passing day, leaving even industry experts scrambling to find real, permanent solutions.
The Threat to Small Businesses
One of the things that makes a small business susceptible to cybercrime is its designation as a ‘small business.’ The truth is that many smaller companies fall victim to the belief that they cannot afford the solutions available to larger businesses. They instead live on the hope and the dream that it won’t happen to me.
While we hope that is the case for you, statistics show that if your small business has not already been the target of a cyber attack, that day is coming. Most experts say this is no longer a matter of whether a small business will be targeted; rather, the question is WHEN the attack will come.
And when that attack does come, the resulting loss in revenue and reputation, not to mention the costs associated with recovery, can be astronomical in comparison to the comparatively small expenditure to keep your company protected.
For A Small Business Susceptible to Cybercrime, A Strong Cyber Policy is Vital
A robust cybersecurity plan is vital to keeping your business viable. What should that plan include?
Step 1: Software and Network Monitoring
Investing in effective cybersecurity software is the first step for any small business susceptible to cybercrime. Installing a powerful security software program on your network’s computers and mobile devices will go a long way to mitigate your attack risk.
Step 2: Penetration Testing
The second step is to regularly test your data security systems and procedures through penetration testing. This testing enables business owners to determine the effectiveness of the data protection system – before a legitimate threat comes.
Step 3: Backups
Third, your business must regularly schedule backups in place! This is one of the top technological deficiencies that can make your business susceptible to cybercrime. Whether your system is an old-fashioned tape backup (which we do not recommend) or a cloud-based data backup (which we do recommend and are happy to facilitate), ALWAYS have recent copies of your data stored offsite.
Step 4: Develop a Disaster Response Plan
Closely related to backups, your next step is to develop a business continuity and disaster response plan that details what steps to take if a data breach occurs.
Having the right, timely response in place if there is
a data breach can save your business millions of dollars and protect customers. A good response plan lets everyone, including stakeholders, know what’s happening. This includes your employees – the sooner they know about the breach, the sooner they can shut down their computers and mobile devices.
Step 5: Education
Even the best, most robust cyber policies can fall victim to human error. And while your trusted employees will not intentionally compromise your network and data, inadvertently clicking on a phishing email, going to a fake website, or even using an unsecured password can result in a data breach that can cost your company a bundle.
Related: 7 Emails You Should Never Open
The answer is to educate your employees on the best practices when online. Start by providing a cybersecurity guide for employees at orientation, and follow up with regularly scheduled training sessions. Your employees are your greatest asset, so give them the power they need to avoid becoming a liability.
Step 6: Cyber Insurance Policies
Cyberattacks have become so common that the Federal Trade Commission recommends companies of all sizes invest in cyber insurance. And even then, only 40% of businesses have cyber insurance, and small businesses comprise only 21% of that figure.
But for any small business susceptible to cybercrime, just having the safety net of an insurance policy is not enough protection.
Step 7: Partner with An Experienced Managed IT Services Provider
Small business owners know that while they might be the experts in their field, they may not be the experts in cybersecurity and IT services. For that reason, many owners of a small business susceptible to cybercrime find that partnering with a managed IT services provider is the smartest decision they can make.
These experts will start with a technology assessment, pinpointing areas where your business is vulnerable to attack. Then, they will create a monitoring strategy to keep your data secure, your software updated and compliant with industry standards, and will develop a disaster recovery plan. All this and more are available when you partner with a managed IT services provider like Amnet.
Amnet – The IT Partner Your Business Needs
The best way to mitigate the risk of cyber threats against your small Colorado business is by partnering with Amnet – and we do mean Partnering. We believe in developing long-term relationship that you can count on, no matter what challenges your business faces.
Contact us today to see how partnering with our cybersecurity expertise can give your small business the competitive advantage needed in today’s tech-driven business world.