Doing business online gives companies the opportunity to cater to a wider market - but it also means dealing with cyber security threats. You’d think every online business owner would know this, but according to a survey by Office Depot and McAfee, 66% of small and medium-sized business owners surveyed felt confident that their data and devices are safe from hackers.
They couldn’t be more wrong. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 72% of the breaches they investigated targeted companies with 100 employees or less. This false sense of security is what online thieves are capitalizing on.
Falling victim to a hacking attack can have costly and devastating consequences. It’s important that you, as a business owner or manager, understand how crucial data security is to your company’s profitability and long-term growth.
While there is no foolproof system, it’s important to establish as many hurdles for cybercriminals as possible to keep them at bay.
Here are 4 steps you can take now to protect your business online.
Assess your vulnerabilities
Knowing what your threats are will empower you to mitigate your company’s risk factors. In order to identify your vulnerabilities, start with the data you are collecting. Are you collecting more information than you need? How are you storing the information you collect? Who can access them? Do you have enough safeguards in place to keep the information private?
Protect your data
Install firewalls and virus protection on all of your systems, including on mobile devices used to access company data. Encrypt all sensitive material including customer information, financial accounts, personnel files and other confidential data so they become unusable even if a hacker manages to get access.
Have a cyber security plan
Are you prepared to respond to a cyber security crisis? To effectively and quickly respond to the threat, you need to have action plans in place in the event of a computer security breach.
Educate your employees
Training your employees is a critical element of keeping your business safe online. They need to understand the value of protecting customer and company information, as well as ensuring they remain safe and secure. Also, you have to be firm with your employees about the need to observe policies and best practices regarding Internet safety in the workplace.
The Internet offers a world of opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes, but it can also ruin your brand in an instant. You not only need to be aware of these risks, you must also be ready to respond quickly so you can control the damage.
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