Small businesses often ignore cybersecurity. If you are a small business owner, you must have thought that the need for a cybersecurity strategy applies only to big firms dealing with millions of dollars. Thinking along those lines can be very expensive in the long run.
While cybersecurity was not much of a concern a few years back, small businesses did not resist numbers in the digital space either. Multiple surveys have revealed that business owners and customers increasingly adopt the internet, with more companies than ever going online.
For all its benefits and groundbreaking achievements, e-commerce (or any business/service on the internet) has also led to a dramatic rise in cybercrime. It is estimated that the world will lose $10.5 trillion to cybercrime by 2025. As alarming as it may be, there are ways you can protect yourself.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is a blanket term with different meanings depending on the context. Sanction checks, compliance, etc., are a huge deal for financial firms and businesses. For smaller retail online stores, the scope is not as wide. However, that does not mean they can be loose about cybersecurity measures. We must understand that smaller businesses also have smaller capitals. If a small business loses even 25% of its total revenue in online attacks, it can be well on its way to bankruptcy.
A cybersecurity strategy intends to create a robust plan for dealing with cyberattacks at a simplified level. It includes technical aspects, general careful conduct, and financial implications. Apart from the basics like using a secure payment gateway, a cybersecurity strategy also lays out a plan for financial protective measures like cyber liability insurance.
Regardless of its size and scale, every business should consider a cybersecurity strategy. The threats will only increase as technology becomes more conducive for business owners and customers become more adept at accessing online stores. Cybercriminals are coming up with more sophisticated methods, which can easily penetrate the layperson’s general understanding of digital security.
Understand your needs and risks
It cannot be possible to address all the aspects of cybersecurity and threats in one article. As a business owner, you have to understand your business’s specific areas of concern. It can range from technological illiteracy to dealing with suspicious clients. If you feel a certain extent in your business has the potential to pose problems in the future, your cybersecurity strategy must address that and its allied issues.
It is always a good practice to ask your customers about their experience. Apart from many other aspects of your business that you’ll benefit from, you will also understand how secure they feel dealing with your business. If you have employees, get their feedback and see if something needs focus. Doing all of it can be time-consuming, but it will save you from potential bankruptcy. Be observant about your digital transactions, and keep note of everything that seems like a threat.
Follow fundamental cybersecurity precepts.
You do not need to be an expert to know you should not use the same password everywhere. Similarly, there are many basic steps and rules that you can follow to make sure that you do not fall into common traps.
Make sure you use a firewall in your networks. A firewall will secure your network and prevents external devices from entering your network. You and your employees can do a simple thing to keep your network secure.
Make sure you keep a backup of all important data, preferably both in hardware and the cloud. When choosing a cloud storage service, go for those with the highest security ratings and measures. Data is the most valuable commodity in today’s day and age. If your customers do not feel safe sharing their data with you, you will lose many customers and potential customers. Many cyberattacks have a common strategy to get hold of sensitive information and demand a ransom for it. Depending on the scale of the attack, it can be anything from mild attack to potential bankruptcy.
Using a password manager is another simple step for you and your employees to take. Password managers do a great job proving and saving unique and complex passwords for all your accounts. Many password managers are available but only offer a basic plan in their free versions. Consider paying the nominal subscription charges that will give you the full benefits of a password management system.
Partner with payment systems that have a proven record of strong cybersecurity. Never go for any unregistered payment system, no matter how convenient it sounds. Choose from the leading names that have credibility in the industry.
Outsource your cybersecurity strategy
As a small business, it might not be feasible for you to keep an in-house team of cybersecurity experts who will care for all your security needs. If you are a solopreneur who outsources most of their work, it is not even possible for you to keep a fully-managed team of cybersecurity professionals. Outsourcing the task to cybersecurity agencies is one of the best options in these cases.
A cybersecurity agency will take care of all your security needs, and you will not have to devote any time to it. With the rise of automated cybersecurity solutions, processes are faster and simpler than ever. You also get to choose from the many service providers available. As digital commerce has grown, so has the number of cybersecurity agencies. Some of them have a large clientele with global operations, while others may work regionally with a small team and few clients. Small cybersecurity agencies can be as effective as the big names in the business and lower costs. However, never compromise on security for a marginally lower price.
The only drawback to outsourcing cybersecurity is the additional cost. But if you consider the potential savings, the expense will make a lot of sense.
In the unfortunate event of losing a significant amount of money to a cyberattack, you will be at a much better place with a financial plan to deal with the losses. Cyber risk liability insurances are an easy way of getting a cover from potential attacks, and they are not much different from regular insurances either. Visit this website to know more about how insurance can secure you from cyberattacks.
Businesses, small or big, need a cybersecurity strategy to continue operations seamlessly. Without a robust plan in place, you are putting your business at unnecessary risk.
There are many ways to ensure cybersecurity, and you should go for the one that suits your needs the best. But you should also make sure that you are not compromising on security to cut costs. While it may seem like an additional expense in the short run, it has great benefits for the long-term success of your business.
As cybercriminals become more innovative and sophisticated, the need for professional cybersecurity has grown. Ignoring this aspect of your business can become an expensive mistake. Create a cybersecurity strategy at the earliest to keep your business protected from the thousands of digital threats.