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It’s no secret that small business owners have a lot on their plates. Drumming up new business, recruiting fresh talent, and building solid professional relationships can leave even the most resilient entrepreneur physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of every workday.
While there’s no denying that small business owners have a variety of challenges to attend to, cyber security should be among every entrepreneur’s top priorities. If hackers, data thieves, or other cybercriminals are able to find their way onto your network or into your devices, the consequences can be far-reaching for both you and your clients.
Business owners looking to take their security efforts to the next level should heed the following pointers.
Invest in Cutting-Edge Security Software
No small business should be without dependable security software. The absence of dedicated antivirus software and advanced threat protection programs leaves your business vulnerable to a bevy of cyber threats. Without the right software in place, malware infection, hacking, and data theft become very real possibilities.
To nip these threats in the bud, invest in cutting-edge security software. The programs you select should provide sweeping protection to your business’ network, individual devices, and valuable data. Your preferred security software should also feature a user-friendly interface, have easy-to-access support, and provide users with abundant updates to combat newly emerged threats.
Regularly Back up Important Data
Regularly backing up important data can be a boon to your business and its clients. For example, if third parties take control of certain devices and/or attempt to purge your data, you’ll be happy to have a readily accessible backup on hand.
With this in mind, make a point of backing up your business’ most essential data on a consistent basis. For best results, make at least one backup every 24 hours. Depending on the size of your business, staff, and client base, you may need to create backups on a more frequent basis. For example, some enterprises back up data around the clock.
Limit Access to Certain Data
Not every member of your team needs ready access to every piece of data your business possesses. Limiting access to sensitive data to employees who need that data to do their jobs can help prevent internal data theft, unintentional data leaks, and a host of other security blunders.
In the interest of keeping important data out of the wrong hands, password-protect and encrypt data that the majority of your team members have no need to access. In the event that an employee absolutely requires access to a protected piece of data, simply sign them in using your login credentials.
Establish Security Rules for Personal Devices
Although many businesses provide employees with designated work computers, most people also use personal devices for work purposes. Smartphones, tablets, and home computers are just a few of the personal devices people regularly use to carry out work-related tasks. However, since these devices often lack the same level of protection as work computers, they tend to be more vulnerable to outside threats.
To stop potential security issues in their tracks, establish clear-cut security rules for personal devices. For starters, require employees to equip any personal devices they intend to use for work with high-quality antivirus software. Second, make sure each of these devices has password protection enabled. This way, if a device is lost or stolen, thieves won’t have easy access to any data contained on the device.
Finally, prohibit employees from accessing public Wi-Fi networks on these devices. While public networks can be convenient for web browsing and other casual tasks, they lack the same security roadblocks found on most private networks, thereby making them unsafe for work purposes. If any employee has no choice but to access a public network with a work device, require them to use a virtual private network (VPN).
Cyber security should be foremost on the mind of any small business owner. Given the devastating consequences a severe cyberattack can have on even the most robust business, defending your company from digital dangers is not something to be taken lightly. Anyone looking to keep their business safe from the machinations of cybercriminals would be wise to take the measures discussed above.