Cyber security breaches are serious matters for companies of all sizes but can be especially devastating for small businesses. That’s because those establishments often don’t have resources to recover from the incidents and may be unprepared to take prompt actions after something happens. If you have a small business, consider taking a proactive approach and doing things to stop hacking from happening.
Keep Software and Apps Updated
Technology companies regularly release new versions of software and applications, especially if they’ve identified potential security-related vulnerabilities that made it necessary to offer updates with patches to keep systems protected. Because many software and app providers make it possible to turn on automatic updating functionality, you have few excuses for not updating the tech tools your small business relies on every day.
Stay Informed About Possible Threats
It’s also a good idea to spend at least a few minutes a day browsing news headlines and keeping an eye out for cyber security trends. After discovering the latest things hackers have attempted, take the knowledge you’ve learned and apply it to everyday operations at your business.
For example, Indianapolis is one of several localities around the United States where there has been an increase in incidences where ATMs were compromised by credit card skimmers that steal relevant details for hackers. Keeping that news in mind, you may want to avoid using your business credit card at frequently used ATMs.
Don’t Let Employees Use Their Own Devices for Work Purposes
Some small businesses have adopted a “bring your own device” policy that allows employees to use their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets at work. This approach undoubtedly keeps costs down because it means your small business doesn’t have to buy as much technological equipment. However, permitting your staff to bring their own tech gadgets is risky, especially if you let them use those devices on an internal network.
It would be foolish to set guidelines for securing the devices and then expect everyone to follow them. If you’ve seriously thought about the security-related downsides of this option and still decided to go with it, at least require all employees to give their devices to an IT specialist for proper configuration.
Hire Security Experts to Audit Your Business
In many cases, representatives from companies affected by hackers admit they didn’t know vulnerabilities existed. However, it’s not a good idea to just assume your small businesses’ network is well protected from hackers. Instead, invest in a thorough security audit performed by people who are well versed at spotting the things hackers typically target.
Once problems are identified, take steps to fix the issues as soon as possible. Doing so may cost more money than you initially anticipated, but the faster you can take care of weak points in your network, the less likely it is that hackers will harm your business.
Earn a Relevant Degree Online
If your interest in cyber security concerns extends beyond protecting your company, learn more about internet-based programs that allow you to earn a degree in the subject while still being involved in your small business. You might also consider a master’s in Management Information Systems from UAB. This option combines business and technology topics, allows you to receive your degree in less than two years, and even offers scholarships to qualified candidates.
Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll be in a better-than-ever position to protect your business from hackers. This educational path is perhaps not the first one you thought of in relation to business skills, but it’s a valuable one.
As you can see, there are many ways to safeguard your small business from skilled hackers. The more aware you are, the less likely it is cybersecurity threats will come your way.