These days, many small business owners know full well that there’s a significant risk of being affected by a data breach. However, what they might not know is how to help ensure that this kind of issue doesn’t end up hurting them too badly when and if it occurs.
The biggest thing companies can do in terms of limiting the risk of a data breach is to be informed and prepared, according to a report from the Huffington Post. While many small businesses might not have it in the budget to have a trained IT professional on staff, they can still make smaller investments that will help them to increase their security. For example, even low-cost virus and firewall protection can go a long way toward identifying and eliminating threats before they become major issues. This is also true of training employees: The more that can be imparted to help people recognize common threats they may face – such as phishing emails – the better off companies will be in terms of keeping their systems safe.
What else can be done?
In addition to those simple measures, it’s usually a good idea for owners – or whichever employee is put in charge of a smaller company’s data security – to make sure that they’re regularly keeping up with the latest trends in the hacking and security fields, the report said. While there are tried and true methods by which hackers can gain access to just about any network, the fact remains that they’re also trying to come up with new ones all the time. Therefore, making sure to stay on top of these developments could go a long way toward making sure they’re not going to be an issue.
Finally, it’s often wise for companies to make good security behaviors mandatory for workers, the report said. That includes enforcing the use of passwords that would be difficult to guess – ideally it would be a nearly random jumble of numbers, letters (both lower- and uppercase), and symbols – to ensure that they can’t be hacked with “brute force” attempts. Further, mandating that those passwords be changed on a regular basis, such as every few months or so, might go a long way as well.
Finally, it might also be wise for companies to also make sure they’re investing in tech insurance, the kind of small business insurance that helps mitigate the costs associated with suffering a data breach.