You might have the right business, the right people, and the right everything in your industry. However, you might lose it all if you do not have a secure channel for your business information.
As an owner, you need to protect your business information with all the resources at your disposal.
There has been an increase in cybercrimes: information is one of the most sought after data by thieves. Protecting your data is fundamental.
Why protect business data?
If you think protecting business information is only for the mighty in the industry, think again! Recent reviews have shown that small businesses are victims of data breaches too. National Cyber Security Alliance revealed that over 60% of small businesses end up closing their doors and reminiscing within six months after a breach.
Protecting your business information should be a priority for you. In recent years cyber theft has been booming, and this problem has been spreading like wildfire. In 2017, 75% of firms whose data had been breached by hackers were small businesses.
IBM has revealed that the average cost for a compromised single file containing confidential information is $148.
Kaspersky, one of the most influential antivirus companies, has calculated the costs incurred after a breach: it added up to over $120,000 during 2018.
However, it does not matter whether you are a small business owner or if you work at a multinational company; data breaches can occur anywhere and at any given time.
With the increased rates at which cyber-attacks are occurring, it is fundamental for small businesses to protect their information.
10 Tips To Protect Your Business Information
Having a suitable process to ensure data and information protection is paramount! Follow these 10 tips to keep your business information safe.
1. Assess Your Current Information Security Status
Determine what is in your business that is of the highest risk of falling into unauthorized hands.
This information may include intellectual business property, employee information, confidential data, customer credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, company contracts, among others.
However, it is vital to prioritize which data to secure first. Start with whatever’s most sensitive.
2. Conduct Risk Assessment
To know how to protect your business information, you need to understand how it flows within the company. You will be surprised to find out that you might not know some of the areas that confidential information goes through.
With this knowledge, you can assess where potential leakages might occur. Once identified, conduct a more in-depth investigation to create a more detailed report. Doing this offers a better understanding of the information security status and how best to handle the situation.
3. Access, Use, and Distribution of Information
When you’ve done a risk assessment investigation, you can identify how confidential data is used and for what purposes.
With the information at hand, you can then decide whether or not the individual or employee in that authority level will continue to have access to sensitive information. If not, clearance should be revoked.
It also enables you to identify the different channels of information distribution so that you can develop and set policies for your employees to follow.
4. Enforce, Monitor and Review the Progress of Security Policies
Enforcing policies for your members of staff, customers, and other potential shareholders is essential. It is also necessary to ensure adherence to the implemented policies.
Monitor information, how it is used, the traffic involved and the compliance levels of whoever is using the data. Be sure to provide enforcement actions for individuals or people who violate these policies.
Conduct regular reviews on the policies and systems that you have put into place. These ensure that no loopholes are left for hackers to breach.
Also, ensure that you carry out continuous audits, especially external ones. These can flag out potential areas in which breaches can occur.
5. Have a Digitalized Security Plan for Your Business
You need to come up with a plan to fight digital theft of information, especially for your business. This involves ensuring that your information is fully secured especially if running an online business.
You need to have antivirus and anti-malware installed in all your computers to detect any new action on viruses, ransomware, spyware and in some cases even phishing sites.
Also, it will require you to ensure that all internet communications and devices connected to the internet are secured. Furthermore, you will need to continuously perform data updates on all your digital devices, keeping them up to date and secure.
6. Conduct Awareness on Digitalized Security
Ensure that your employees and other people accessing the information are aware of the cybersecurity measures you have put in place.
In this awareness training, you need to:
🔹 Help them identify legitimate and illegitimate emails sent to them.
🔹 Implement password management and policies to the fullest.
🔹 Have secure remote connections if using any.
🔹 Limit the usage of public or open channels to access business information as they might not be secure.
7. Automate Your Backup Systems
Backups are essential not only to your customers and other shareholders but also for your business as well.
Data is not only in danger of cyber-attacks; it can also be in danger of floods, lightning storms, and fires, among others. If your data is backed up offsite, in the cloud or by a company offering these services, then you need not worry.
In case of disasters, you can always retrieve your backed up data and continue running your business like nothing ever happened.
8. Full Disk Encryption
Even though passwords are great to protect your business’ computers, this might not be enough when faced by a hacker. Encrypting your hard drive (and therefore encrypting all the programs and files it has) is something you need to do to protect all of your business information.
In the most simple terms, encrypting your information will make it unreadable to anyone that does not hold the key to decrypt it.
Full-disk encryption is recommended for all of your computers but is even more important for laptops, which can be stolen easier.
9. Seek Professional Assistance
Sometimes, preventing information theft can be difficult. As an individual, it is challenging to perform this complicated task to the fullest.
To ensure that accuracy is maintained, you can seek professionals to deliver this service on your behalf. This will further reduce the chances of a breach as professionals take into account even minimal details and ensure every precaution has been taken.
A professional can help with all of these steps and some that are even more complex, like helping you set up security-focused networking equipment to keep your business information safe.
10. Have a preparedness plan
Even though it is important to ensure adherence to all of the above steps, sometimes it might be challenging to do so. It is important to prepare for any scenarios, and having a plan to react to any information breach is essential. A disaster recovery plan will ensure your business is able to recover quickly.
Protect your business information
Protecting business information can be difficult for small businesses. You need to ensure that your business is protected at all times.
Implementing all these tips will provide you with the assurance that not possible break-in or breaches will occur, and if they occur, you’ll know how to react swiftly.
Sometimes, all implementing a business information security plan can be a big investment, after all, you need to buy software and hardware and hire professionals, among other things. But don’t let a lack of cash stop you from protecting your business. Apply for a business loan at Camino Financial and have the most secure small business so that you can stay in business for as long as you want to.