Security / hacking

3 tips to help protect your small business

As a small business owner, you’re probably short on both time and resources to best take care of your business operations. Dropping the ball really isn’t an option since all the elements must function effectively if the business is to succeed. You’re probably already aware, at least in an abstract sense, that one of modern businesses’ biggest concerns is security but it’s difficult to address this in a tangible way when there are budget constraints to consider. Still, security must be addressed before it can negatively affect your business. Below we look at some great ways that you can help to protect your business from risk and disruption.

Review your cybersecurity

Physically securing your business is second-nature to most but when it comes to cybersecurity standards start to slip. Make a list of all the business operation that occur online and add what kind of security measures are in place to prevent attacks and data leaks. It’s not a good idea to only rely on standard, in-built security features without the addition of extra protection – most cyberattacks will be expecting this and so having extra security will act as a deterrent. You may think that small businesses aren’t a target for cyberattacks, but this doesn’t hold true. In fact, cybercriminals purposefully target small businesses, envisioning that their cybersecurity measures will be less robust, and that loss of income is likely to cause more damage. Statistics from the US show that close to 6 in 10 small businesses have been subject to cyberattacks, with an average detection rate of 146 days. It’s becoming very clear that cybersecurity needs to be a small business’s top priority.

Test your business operations

Extreme weather events (winds, storms, wildfires, etc) and the aforementioned cyberattacks are becoming more commonplace so it’s vital to test how just how well your business operations will continue to function in the face of disruption. Having an open communication process with any suppliers that make your work possible ensures that you have a realistic picture of what to expect should disaster strike. Testing this regularly and adapting your recovery operations will prepare you for a range of scenarios and safeguard your business.

Create a continuity plan

One of the best ways to help prepare and protect your business from risk is by creating a business continuity plan. It’s a fantastic tool for a business of any size to have in place but small businesses benefit, in particular, since disruption can be impossible to recover from if not dealt with efficiently. Business continuity planning comes with a myriad of different benefits besides minimisation of disruption, like reduction of financial loss, retention of a positive brand image and client confidence as well as enabling recovery within a pre-agreed timeframe. Moreover, by training staff in accordance to the continuity plan, you can guarantee that everyone knows best practices during times of disruption. Review and update the plan regularly to continue protecting your business to your industry’s best standards.

Since small businesses are especially vulnerable to disruption and cyberattacks, it’s vital to create and test a set of systems that will help to protect business operations should the worst happen. The future is only going to be more unpredictable, with more forecasted cyberattacks and extreme weather events, so preparing for the unexpected should be every small businesses’ primary strategy for future-proofing.

Photograph by Pixelcreatures