Guest Post By Derek Goodman
If you’re thinking about starting a business, there are likely hundreds of things on your mind. While it’s important to consider what exactly it is you’re selling, who your target audience is, and how you’re going to get your first customers, don’t forget about cybersecurity. Shielding your business from security threats is one of the best ways to ensure your long-term success. In this article, The Cyber Resilience Institute shares everything you need to know to protect your new business from cyber attacks.
Why You Should Care About Cybersecurity
Is cybersecurity really a priority right now? Do small businesses even need to worry about cyber attacks? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes! Small businesses are frequent victims of cyber security threats. According to PR Newswire, approximately 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. What’s more, over half of all small businesses that experience a cyber attack go out of business within just 6 months. As cyber breaches continue to increase alongside an increasing reliance on digital data storage, small businesses cannot be too careful.
Avoiding cyber threats should be one of your top priorities as you work to get your business off the ground. Once you understand how simple cybersecurity upgrades can save businesses from bankruptcy, you might even want to start your own cybersecurity business!
Protect Your Business Hardware
To get started, make sure each and every one of your business devices is protected from digital attacks. This includes computers, USB drives, servers, and mobile devices. Too many business owners focus on securing their online data but overlook company hardware. The loss or theft of business hardware can give anyone access to your sensitive business information. Make sure all hardware is protected with a strong password. Be sure to also use antivirus software and firewalls to keep potential hackers from accessing your devices via your internet connection. With a simple online search, you can find many cost-effective solutions well-suited to the needs of your business.
Encrypt and Backup Data
Even with strong prevention systems in place, you must be prepared for a data breach. Be sure to encrypt your data so that hackers cannot use it, even if they gain access to your servers. SealPath explains that data encryption should be used for any data that is related to compliance with regulations or business agreements. You should also encrypt any data that could harm customers or contains intellectual property that would be valuable to your competitors. Make it as easy as possible for people at your organization to encrypt sensitive data. For example, you can automate the encryption of data that are stored in certain folders on file servers or cloud applications like Dropbox.
Implement a Recovery Plan
Encrypting your data will help prevent hackers from selling it or threatening to release it to the public unless you pay a ransom. But if your data is lost or frozen in an attack, you won’t be able to get your business up and running until you recover it. Data recovery is essential in any cyber security data protection plan. Establish a recovery plan now so you can restore lost or stolen data as quickly as possible. An effective data recovery plan will include information about the applications you need to recover first as well as the individuals at your organization who will be involved in these recovery efforts.
Encourage Your Employees to Care About Security
Your employees are your first line of defense against security threats. At the same time, your employees are your largest security vulnerability. Encourage them to care about the security of your business data by starting cyber awareness during your employee onboarding. Building the cybersecurity mindset in your employees from day one will set the stage for their continuous engagement in your cybersecurity plan. After this, keep an open line of communication with your staff to ensure everyone knows about updates and changes to your cybersecurity defense.
The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated. By implementing good cybersecurity practices at your business, you can be prepared for any cyber threats thrown at you. Take preventative action now so you can ensure the long-term viability of your business!