In 2018, the number of data breaches increased 420 percent. The internet is becoming an increasingly dangerous place, especially for small businesses. Where big companies may have the resources to combat digital risks and may even have an in-house cybersecurity staff, small businesses have to approach the rising issue differently.
Protecting your business starts with education. When developing a plan, make sure you and your employees know these key cybersecurity risks.
Risk: Uneducated or Careless Employees
As a small business owner, it’s on you to educate employees about how to protect your business from online threats, like email phishing or password hacking. Train your employees to secure social media accounts, follow proper protocol for handling corporate information, use devices only on secured networks and refrain from installing unapproved software or apps on company devices. If you need guidance, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlines best practices for employee IT security training.
Risk: Viruses, Malware and Scams Lurking in Emails
Digital threats come in many forms, from phony malware to Trojan Horses. If undetected, they can do serious damage to your business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) urges caution when clicking links or downloading attachments through email. Phishing attempts often come from email addresses you’re familiar with, but with slight variations in the name. Whenever you or your employees are suspicious, err on the side of caution and verify the email with the apparent sender.
Risk: Unprotected Customer Information
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar shop or ecommerce biz, keeping your customers’ information secure should be a priority. The FCC recommends asking yourself what customer information is necessary to store. Whatever info you keep, you must protect. Decide who has access to payment systems and isolate those systems. To do so, you can take steps like cutting off web browsing at point-of-sale terminals. Additionally, the SBA encourages working with banks and card processors to keep your anti-fraud tools current.
Risk: Failing to Back Up Your Data
Regularly backing up data is a best practice, especially for businesses with high cybersecurity risks. In the event of a data breach or malware attack, having a secure data reserve could save your company. Use a cloud service or offsite location to store regular backups of accounts receivable/payable, HR, financial files and more. According to the FCC, companies should also plan for a data breach for the purpose of understanding just how seriously a cyberattack could harm the business.
Make Sure Your Small Business Is Protected from Cybersecurity Threats
Your business experienced a data breach. Now what? Farm Bureau commercial business insurance provides reimbursement for investigating the breach, helps you notify affected customers and includes restoration services and liability protection. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent today about data breach coverage. Getting protected before a breach could save your small business.