We are well into 2019, and by now, every business owner understands the threat of company hacks, leaks, and information theft. We also are wide-eyed to the fact that attacks don’t just happen to large, well-known, high-profile companies; small- to medium-sized businesses are at greater risk simply because small business IT security is an easier hack. In fact, the U.S. Congressional Small Business Committee reported that 71 percent of cyberattacks targeted businesses that employed less than 100 people.
It’s been said that “There are two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those who don’t yet know they have been hacked.” That’s how common it is. Whether it’s your competitors, professional cyber crooks, or even disgruntled employees, there are people in the world who could cause serious problems for your small business. A business IT security plan is necessary to thwart, or at least minimize, their malicious efforts.
Any business – yes, any business – that has a website, uses online accounts, or utilizes any other kind of web-based infrastructure is susceptible to hacks, with small businesses typically being the most vulnerable. Why the bull’s eye on small businesses? Their smaller pool of resources means that they often have the least-protected websites, accounts, and network systems. This makes it easy for cyber criminals to do plenty of damage to their network and lessens their chances of being tracked down and caught.
This is why IT security for small businesses is so important. An IT security plan will keep your company’s infrastructure protected against malware, email hacks, leaks, and data theft, and it doesn’t have to be something out of a Hollywood thriller.
What exactly is involved with an IT security plan?
At Invision, we include the basics, such as firewall protection, a plan for mobile devices, data backups, and anti-malware software in our small business IT security plans. From our offices in Lenexa, Kansas, our technicians then tailor the plan to your company’s workflow and industry requirements.
Firewall protection creates a barrier between your company’s data and those who will try to hack into it. It should protect both in-office and remote employees, and is highly recommended whether your workforce is mobile or not. Today, a majority of employees access company networks outside of the office whether they’re working from home or checking email standing in line at the coffee shop.
A mobile device plan is extremely smart for businesses that allow employees to work using their own devices. Frankly, there are few businesses that don’t these days. This requires workers to apply a password policy to any mobile device that interacts with company data. You’ll be glad this feature is part of your larger IT security plan if, for example, an employee loses a phone or their tablet is stolen.
Data backups are a necessity in the event that your business does get hacked or suffers from a catastrophic event like flooding or fire. When data is backed up to the cloud, you won’t lose critical information and documents. A good small business IT security plan includes a process for up-to-date data backups that protect your spreadsheets, databases, financial files, and any other important documents.
Anti-malware software is the part of a small business IT security plan that protects your business from employees and employees from themselves. The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 30% of employees opened phishing emails in 2016. Malware is to blame for viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware. This can result in credit card theft as well as other data robbery. Phishing emails have become more difficult to identify because they’ve evolved to look eerily similar to legit emails. Even the savviest employee can be fooled by a well-designed replica template.
These four basics are a starting point to a good IT security plan for small businesses. Connect with Invision to implement these basics and customize them to meet your specific company’s needs based on industry, staff, and IT infrastructure. No matter how small, every company needs a strong, solid IT security plan in order to protect what you’ve built. There’s a society of cyber criminals out there that sees credit cards and private data stolen from small businesses just as valuable as those stolen from global corporations.