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Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers

Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Hackers

Small businesses are the foundation of the American economy and represent nearly seventy percent of the workforce. Because they are essential to building a strong economy, hackers are constantly looking for flaws in businesses’ protective measures so they can access company information and customer databases. Thankfully, there are measures you can take to improve your business’ security.

Small Business Vulnerability

You may think that large corporations are at a much higher risk of being hacked than your small business. After all, larger companies have many more customers, whose information can create the ultimate payday for hackers. However, large businesses have the financial resources to step up their security measures, whereas the typical small business owner has a very tight budget, most of which is focused on marketing.

Cyber Security and Blockchain Technology

When you hear the words “Blockchain Technology” you probably think of Bitcoins. While this was initially what the term denoted, blockchain is expanding into cybersecurity. The reason is simple: blockchain is nearly impenetrable. A blockchain carries a footprint known as a “hash” from one place to another, making any change to it easily identified as tampering.

Password Policy

Small businesses have a small number of employees, and, as a result, they put their trust in their employees to cover many areas of the business. However, it’s essential that when it comes to the company database only you, the owner, and one trusted employee have the ability to access it. Even though your business is small, you must have a password policy in place. This way if a breach occurs you have only one person to contact.

Employee Role

Your employees are at the front line of your business which is why it’s important to make them aware of cybersecurity risks. Common business tools like email provide a golden opportunity for hackers to get their foot in the door. Because of this fact, you should have your employees report emails that come from suspicious sources to the manager or the company owner and not open them. Also make sure that your employees are informed of company practices involving updated software.

Outsourcing IT Support

Maintaining internal electronics such as computers, servers, and even email can consume valuable time, a luxury that small businesses can’t afford. Because of this, small business owners are outsourcing maintenance services to companies specializing in IT support and are hiring law firms that can protect their IP and protect them against fraud. From outside your business, they can effectively monitor your technology and then offer advice on how to best protect your business from possible cyber-attacks. This benefits you, in two ways. First, you won’t need an IT person on payroll and secondly, they have the resources and the skills to protect your business from afar.

Malware

Once a hacker gets inside your system they can infect your company website. Thankfully, there are many software programs, some that come with your office equipment, that can detect malware instantly. The problem today is that work is no longer limited to the office computer. People often work remotely on their iPad, home computer, and even their iPhones, making it much easier for hackers to access company information that is stored on these devices. Keeping up with updates and making sure that every device that an employee uses remains protected from malware is key.  You have a successful small business that took years of labor to create and you chose the long road to ensure that all aspects of the business are functioning properly, so as you scale up, don’t leave your small business vulnerable to hackers. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your business remains protected.


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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.