In competing with larger organisations, many new and small firms are taking advantage of the internet’s level playing field by placing their business on the world wide web.
But don’t think because your business is a start-up business, so you are safe. A study by the cybersecurity giant Symantec found that 40% of attacks are against organisations with fewer than 500 employees.
Another cybersecurity firm, the Kaspersky Lab, notes that the average annual cost of cyber-attacks on small and medium businesses was over $200,000 in 2014.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2018 alone.
Small businesses are often targets of cybercrime, mainly because they underestimate the risk and rarely have the resources to use expensive cybersecurity solutions.
According to an SBA survey, 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyber-attack.
Protecting any business against the latest web threats has become a complicated task, whether a large or small business, a start-up or an established business.
As mentioned, the consequences of internal or external attacks, security breaches or abuses have placed Internet security high on the business agenda for businesses, especially now that most people work from home because of the pandemic.
So, what do you need to know about online security? What key elements are to ensure your new business is and remains safe online? The most important thing you need to know now is how to set up policies to ensure your business’s safety on the internet.
How to Protect your business online
The size of your business is irrelevant regarding online crime and fraud. But sadly, smaller businesses are easier targets because of limited or no in-house IT support.
So you need to set up policies to teach employees and re-teach them about your security measures. The more detailed your policies are, the safer you will be in the long run.
Set up Policies
What do your policies need to cover in placing your business safely on the Internet? Your policy should include, but not be limited to:
Create policies that require your staff to use strong passwords and not share their passwords with anyone.
Your policies must insist that your staff learn to use secure passwords for signing into any website and keep your passwords safe.
They must also avoid clicking on suspicious links. Your website must have an SSL certificate to enable you to use HTTPS in the address bar when you type your website URL.
Take advantage of 2-step verifications or 2-Factor Authentication whenever available to protect your accounts.
PC and Internet Security
According to this article, select a solution that helps you keep tabs on mobile users and all your PCs and servers with a single console. Experts always recommend that you secure your internet connection, especially your wireless network, with a strong password too!
The article notes that the best security software will go beyond standard protection and reside on the computer without hindering the performance of the PC, laptop or network. Select a security solution that will protect your team against identity theft, risky websites, and hacker attacks within a single solution.
Your policy must also stipulate your staff devices’ security settings and features. It must also govern software, websites and programs you allow your staff to access, especially now that most people work from home.
Your computer security and cybersecurity are critical. Keep all your software current and up to date. Enable automatic updates whenever available to boost your data protection.
Your policy must mention practical steps your staff can take to keep sensitive personal information in their files, e.g. their name, social security number, credit card details, account info and other personal information or sensitive information.
Decide who will be permitted to maintain your business website, email accounts, password manager, social media presence and other sensitive data.
Train your staff on keeping their email account safe. With the many free online email account service providers available, your team can take advantage of these for personal issues. But for official matters, they need to use the official account you provide them strictly for official correspondence.
Regaining control of a hacked email account and disaster recovery can be more challenging than you imagined. And any shady users or unauthorised person who gains access to your email account can quickly take control of your other accounts, social media or even your online shopping, financial information and banking accounts! They may even go as far as gaining access to your private information and making unauthorised purchases using your account details.
Many organisations have stringent policies regarding how their staff can use the email account it assigns them. This is to avoid any costly data breaches.
Your staff also need to be extra cautious about stuff they download from the internet. So they do not download malicious software or spyware onto their hard drive or mobile device.
They also need extra caution and best security practices to avoid being victims of phishing emails or other cybersecurity threats.
Social media is here to stay. Your staff are your number one advocate on social media.
Therefore, you must train your staff on what makes up quality content to post when they represent your brand on social media.
But ask yourself, “Would I be willing to represent myself in court just to save cost in legal expenses?”You are right to be nervous about the impact of the internet on your business, just as you are right to be excited about the potentials. Click To Tweet
It is often safer and more cost-effective in the long run to hire a professional digital marketing specialist or a social media marketing specialist. Calculate the cost of time spent in producing a website – time that can accomplish other tasks.
The “big boys” in web development charge rates for websites that other businesses cannot afford.
On top of this, the web industry is littered with enthusiastic amateurs who are too willing to put your business on the internet at meagre charges. More often than not, most entrepreneurs fall for it.
A year later, having received little or no response, that business may abandon the website and the Internet entirely!
But if you want to do it in-house, here are a few things you need to consider.
Decide who can speak on behalf of the company and only allow these persons to access and operate your social media account.
Your policy must define the content you post on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It must also provide guidelines for blogging.
The online reputation of your business is essential. So, you are right to be nervous about the impact of the Internet on your business, just as you are right to be excited about the potential.
It will help if you put sufficient safety measures in place for doing business on the internet. Do all necessary risk assessments. But in the long run, remember that prevention is better than cure.
It would help to think about your business’s long-term future before inviting individuals/companies to put it online.
With data security, there is too much at stake to make the wrong decision and be led by the hand into the unknown.
So, before you start an online business, schedule a meeting with Mauco Enterprises today. We’ll show you the safest and most affordable way to go about it.
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