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Maintaining security for your small business can be a challenge where data is concerned, especially if you have remote employees or vendors who are scattered in different locations. Using several devices to access the same information can lead to gaps in your security even if you’re careful, so it’s essential to take preventative steps to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to keeping sensitive data safe. This includes, among other things, extensive training, investing in strong anti-virus software, and securing your network with password protection. Read on for four tips on how to avoid making common cybersecurity mistakes as a small business owner.
Protect home offices
From remote employees to your own home office setup, it’s essential to make sure your company’s information is secure. Many small business owners fail to realize the importance of making sure that personal computers and devices are safe from threats like ransomware, which is a type of malware that demands payment in exchange for not exposing data. Worse, business owners who pay a ransom may be subject to legal action!
It’s important, therefore, to consider a data management solution that will not only defend against ransomware attacks but also help you recover and validate data and provide backup copies with secure access. These are crucial components of a good disaster recovery plan, along with efficient monitoring, multilayer protection, and regular testing. It’s a lot, yes, so work with an established provider like Commvault to ensure that your data is in safe hands.
Remote employees and freelancers should be well-trained when it comes to your company policies regarding cybersecurity, and training should be reiterated every few months as safety guidelines and threats change. They may understand how to safeguard their devices, but would they recognize a phishing scam in an email? Talk to them about their sharing practices on social media, as well, especially if you have a dedicated employee who manages those accounts. Consider utilizing a training exercise that simulates a cyber-attack — this will help you find weak spots and vulnerabilities in both your security systems and your employees.
When it comes to remote employees, freelancers, and vendors who have access to your network or customer info, it’s essential to be proactive about your security. Contracts should have wording about their responsibilities and how they can protect sensitive data, especially if they’ll be using their own devices. Make sure you’ll have the option to update software and make changes to security networks down the road since threats are always evolving. You’ll also want to put limits on who has access to certain information and find out exactly how they share it, especially if they use a P2P network.
Plan for emergencies
Many small business owners make the mistake of failing to plan for emergencies where their cybersecurity is concerned, assuming that safety is assured due to their size. However, smaller businesses are just as at risk for major data breaches as larger companies, so it’s crucial to have a plan and to teach your employees how to implement it in the event of an emergency. This might include shutting down a particular system, backing up data, and/or having a plan for recovery, so talk to your employees about what their roles will be should sensitive data be compromised. You’ll also want to prepare a statement for your customers that will let them know what happened and how you’re going to resolve it.
Protecting your business against cyber-attacks and theft is an essential task these days, so it’s important to have a solid plan in place that will give you and your employees peace of mind. By avoiding common security mistakes, you can keep your most sensitive information safe and secure while ensuring trust with your customers.