Small business owners of course confront a myriad of challenges when it comes to protecting their investment. No matter the industry, these challenges almost certainly include addressing cybersecurity threats.
Businesses such as medical practices, dental offices, and other practices are particularly vulnerable to expensive breaches. These businesses maintain extra-sensitive data, which cyber attackers may find valuable.
Still, if you are operating on a network in any capacity, cyber security should be a priority. Here's why:
Why do Small Businesses Need Cyber Security?
Cyber attacks can expose critical data, relinquish your customer's trust, and cost you a small fortune. According to the FBI, the cost of cybercrime and security breaches reached $2.7 billion in 2020 alone.
That's a large expense, and small businesses make up a great deal of those costs. Cyber-attacks often expose small businesses because they have sensitive data and they often lack the security infrastructure of a larger operation. Things such as a company email address or wireless access point can provide hackers the opportunity they need to breach your security.
The costs per incident will vary based on factors such as company size, revenue, and severity of the breach. However, on average, data breaches cost small businesses with <500 employees $2.98 million, according to 2021 data from IBM.
Despite the clear threat these security breaches pose, small business owners are often unprepared. According to a recent SBA survey, 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyber-attack. So if you feel you're business is not protected against malicious software, you're not alone.
Best Practices to Improve Your Small Business' Cybersecurity
One problem many business owners face is they don't know where to begin with cyber security. It may seem daunting at first, but there are a few simple and effective steps you can implement in your business today to make your data and your company more secure.
Install antivirus software
This is one of the most straightforward ways you can improve your network's security. By installing antivirus software on all of your devices, you greatly increase your chances of stopping cyber threats before they get too far.
For these products, you should ensure that the software provides more than just security. Good programs can clean your computer as necessary and restore previous versions in worst-case scenarios.
Back up your files regularly
Backing up your files is an essential aspect of small business administration. You may end up deleting significant amounts of data in the process of cleaning out a virus. By backing up things like your human resources files, you make this scenario much easier to deal with. This may also be a feature within your antivirus software. If so, be sure to schedule regular data backups on each important company device.
Since your employees are constantly using your devices, they are the perfect target for cyber attacks. A recent McAfee report shows that 43% of data breaches were the result of employee activities, both intentional and unintentional. Email phishing is a very popular example of employees accidentally allowing hackers to breach security protocols.
With all this in mind, it is essential you train your employees on how to safely use your equipment. You can accomplish this through online seminars, in-person training sessions, and more. This activity is typically a cornerstone part of a network security policy when you engage in cyber security consulting.
Layer Your Access
You should also limit employee access when it makes sense for your business. You can accomplish this with a separate user account depending on the software, or you can consult with an IT professional for more advanced tactics. This topic will likely come up in any cyber security consulting conversations.
Many software programs on your business computers will allow you to password protect access, even on files through Windows or macOS.
Choose a Cyber Security Consulting Partner
While there are certain tactics you small businesses can implement, there is no substitute for partnering with bonafide experts. When you hire an IT company like KCMIT, you gain a partner that works for you. These experts will help draft a strategy that works for your business, employees, and bottom line.
Choosing a reliable company is important here. Your partner should keep your files secure, regularly check in with security updates, and provide further suggestions as needed.
Partner With KCMIT for Expert Small Business Cybersecurity Consulting
When it comes to your business, you cannot afford to overlook security. Working with a managed service provider is one way to ensure you give your employees the best support they can get.
At KCMIT, we will work within your existing framework and provide professional consultation for your business. Our cybersecurity services can help your business beef up security, replace outdated hardware and software, and support employees.
If you need to enhance your business' cybersecurity, contact us today!