4 Things About Cybersecurity that New and Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must Know
Cybersecurity is a major concern not just for large companies, but for small businesses as well. Many entrepreneurs underestimate their need for security, thinking that thieves and hackers won’t target them due to their size, but that’s exactly why small businesses are at risk. Those who can profit from stealing information from your business expect a lack of barriers, so it’s important to take steps to protect your data. Not only will it keep your business running smoothly, it will safeguard your customers’ information and prevent damage to your reputation.
Here are some tips from Techzo on how to avoid a cyberattack as a new business owner and why it’s so important to do so.
What’s at risk?
Every business is different, of course, but in general, a cyber attack can put your business’s financial data–including bank account details–and customer information at risk, as well as give access to your company email and any programs used on your computer. It can also lead to downtime for your business as you work to get everything fixed and secure. Aside from that, an attack or theft can have serious consequences for your business’s reputation and can even lead to legal action being taken against you.
How do you prevent an attack?
While those consequences sound scary, the good news is there are several things you can do to avoid similar issues. Installing IT security is the first and most crucial step. Protect yourself against viruses and ransomware and make sure patches are updated. Also, make sure you regularly back up your sensitive data in case it needs to be recovered later. At the very least, setting up a firewall will keep outside users from accessing secure information on your network. Also, using a secure email platform will help prevent scammers from getting through.
Employee training also plays a large role in keeping your business’s data safe. Not only should every employee be taught how to recognize phishing scams, it should be a standard practice to update passwords regularly and keep them protected. If your employees will be using mobile devices for work, make sure they utilize password protection and have security apps installed.
How do you handle a viral attack?
Even if you take all the right steps to prevent a cyber attack from happening, thieves or hackers can sometimes still slip through the cracks. If your business does suffer a viral attack, it’s extremely important to shut down your website for the time being. Not only does keeping it up leave you exposed to further attacks, it can give your business a reputation for poor security and make customers wary about visiting your site in the future.
Once you’ve shut down the site, disconnect the infected hardware from your business’s network to prevent any spread. Have your antivirus software run a scan in order to track down the malware and destroy it. Document the entire process from beginning to end so you can share that information with your IT team and employees.
What if data is breached?
Having information stolen is a police matter, so it’s crucial to make sure you document this process as well. Fortunately, there are intrusion detection systems available that will make note of any unusual activity so you can track down the source of a breach and see which files were accessed. Finding a security fix and testing it to make sure the hacker can’t get access again is also important, and you may need an IT professional for this. You’ll also want to inform all customers whose data may have been exposed, even if you aren’t positive they’re at risk.
Handling cyber attacks can be stressful, so it’s best to take as many precautions as possible in order to prevent issues. Staying on top of security issues will not only give you peace of mind, it could help you spot a problem before it spins out of control.
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