Incidents about data breach in the computers of big and even small companies are becoming rampant as time goes by. Millions of people are affected when large amounts of information that business companies keep gets hijacked or compromised. As high-profile security breaches continue to increase, it is becoming evident that companies shouldn’t just sit back and hope that they won’t become the next victim.

While big businesses become the main target of cyber security threats, small business owners should keep in mind that they are not immune to these kinds of security breaches. To help small businesses take the proper steps to thwart cybercriminals from targeting them, below are some guidelines on how to enhance their business’ cyber security.

I. UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS AND LOSSES OF A POSSIBLE SECURITY BREACH

Acknowledge the possibility of cyber security breaches and the importance of data protection

It is a fact the small businesses don’t have sufficient funds to implement the same types of security systems that big companies do. But that doesn’t mean that small business owners can leave their important information stored in their computer systems out in the open. This only means that they have to be smarter to find out ways on how to protect their data and manage the security of their computer systems at the same time. They must observe and follow necessary steps on how to protect the information that they have just as what their customers and employees would expect from them.

Categorize the risks your small business faces

When it comes to cyber security, small businesses get the same share that big businesses face. Their computer systems can be infected with viruses, worms, and spyware that can harm files and slow down their computers. Hackers can also penetrate their system and steal important data and other business information. Depending on the type of business, the amount of private data about clients and customers can be extensive.

    • Addresses, email addresses, and other information about customers and employees
    • Credit card information used for purchases
    • Private identification numbers such as social security numbers and tax identification numbers

Consider the ramifications of lost data

It is greatly important for a small business to protect information that are given to them because if they don’t, they can easily lose trust, revenue, and may even face penalties and sanctions.

II. ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM

Install antivirus software on your computers

See to it that each computer on your business is equipped with an antivirus software that is always enabled and up-to-date. This is considered as the most basic yet essential protection you can provide to your small business system.

Apply layers of security

The amount of security needed to be installed will depend on the sensitivity of the information stored on the computer. If your business keeps information such as credit card info or personal identication numbers of customers, extra security should be provided to make sure hackers and viruses will keep off from your network.

Invest in cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is designed to lessen the severity of losses from various cyber incidents, including data breaches, business interruption, and network damage. This new product can greatly help a company overcome financial difficulties in the event that their computer systems are breached.

Monitor employee computer usage

Another important thing that must be implemented by small business owners is to closely monitor their employees’ computer usage. This is to make sure that none of your people are putting your business, including the computer systems at risk. Also, it is vital that private devices that your employees’ bring must also be checked and monitored for any suspicious activities.

Educate employees of the need to have proper security

Even though your business is only small, it’s still necessary that there should be security policies being implemented to protect your computer systems. Each of your employees should sign a documentation indicating that they have read the said policies and they understood them, as well as the consequences should they violate any of those policies.

III. WEIGHING RISKS AND COSTS

Evaluate the cost of installing cyber security

Cost is usually the main reason why small business owners don’t have proper security applied to their computer systems. In truth, the cost of a cyber security system for a small business does not have to be prohibitive. The cost of an antivirus program, for example, is actually not that expensive like other businesses may think. Other policies or ways to improve your company’s cyber security may not cost that much at all — if anything.

Consider the cost of not having cyber security in place

The price of a hacked or infected computer systems is often much higher than to protect it. At an estimate, the total costs of breaches in cyber security for all business around the world can reach up to $3 trillion. Just imagine what the consequences would be if you didn’t have any form of cyber security on your system — there would be loss in productivity, the need to recreate lost data, and eventually a big loss in revenue. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Weigh the costs and risk of potential loss

It is admittable that not everyone will agree the types of security or how much security is needed for a small business. But all business owners must realize the truth about the potential threat in many different forms to all computers. They should also be aware that these threats grow in numbers and complexity and that every small business must be vigilant and act quick before it’s too late.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, June 5, 2015 at 7:30:28 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection, Small-Medium Business.

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