Overseeing a small business can be challenging on a number of fronts. Not only does this role entail recruiting and supervising dependable team members, but it also involves meeting with prospective clients and drumming up a new business in order to stay afloat. In light of all their other responsibilities, small business owners often put cybersecurity on the backburner or overlook it entirely. However, boosting your business’s defenses against doesn’t have to be difficult or costly – and it stands to save you a considerable amount of hassle in the long run. Small business owners on the hunt for smart cybersecurity solutions should consider the following tips.
Invest in Top-Tier Security Software
When working to protect your business from hackers, malware and other cyber threats, dependable security software can be an invaluable ally. For starters, comprehensive threat detection software from Trend Micro can prove tremendously helpful in keeping assorted threats off your office network. Furthermore, any computers, tablets or smartphones that are regularly connected to your network should be outfitted with reliable antivirus software. Since a single infection can have far-reaching consequences, no business can afford to overlook the importance of security software. Solidly designed software will provide your business with real-time threat detection, consistent security updates and incredible peace of mind.
Protect Network Hardware and Work Devices
In addition to investing in good software, you’ll need to place equal importance on protecting assorted hardware. For example, your router should be placed in a secure location, and people who have no business making adjustments to it should be prohibited from touching it. Furthermore, every piece of computer hardware that belongs to your business should be equipped with password protection and taken out of the office sparingly, if at all. If certain devices leave the office on a consistent basis, the odds of them being lost or stolen increase exponentially. As such, discouraging employees from leaving the office with work devices unless absolutely necessary may be a wise course of action.
Require Employees to Install Pertinent Updates Posthaste
Most cybersecurity programs and operating systems provide users with near-constant updates. More often than not, these updates contain components designed to combat new and emerging threats. Failing to install these updates in a timely manner leaves devices vulnerable to viruses, malicious software and hackers. With this in mind, all employees should be required to install pertinent system and software updates as they become available. While this can prove slightly cumbersome – particularly if you happen to be on a roll with work-related tasks – it’s a necessary step in staying protected.
Educate Your Workforce
An enterprise is only as strong as its weakest member – and the same is true in the case of cybersecurity. If a member of your team doesn’t recognize the severity of certain threats or understand how to combat them, your entire business may suffer as a result. For this reason, it’s imperative that you educate your workforce on prominent threats and security measures and encourage them to come to you with any questions or concerns.
Since it’s only natural to want employees to view you as a peer instead of a disciplinarian, few business owners relish having to reprimand team members. However, if one of your workers is regularly found to be in violation of established security guidelines, there may not be any way around imposing consequences on them. This isn’t to say you should fire them or suspend them without pay, but putting your foot down in such circumstances can dramatically reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence. For some people, simply being told not to do something isn’t enough. When dealing with this type of employee, actionable consequences can mean the difference between repeated behaviors and total compliance.
As any experienced entrepreneur can attest, small business ownership is fraught with challenges. Managing a team, researching effective avenues of promotion and securing new clients can wear down even the most resilient small business owner. Needless to say, worrying about cybersecurity on top of everything else is liable to make many entrepreneurs feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Fortunately, keeping your business safe from a bevy of digital dangers doesn’t have to be a drain on your time or financial resources.