Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention, Technology & Software

Small Business Guide: How to Protect Your Data

Around 60% of small to mid-sized companies go out of business six months after a data breach. 

Hackers do not only target big multi-million dollar companies. Those businesses often have the best cyber security practices since they have a lot to lose. Hackers also target small businesses with poor data security.

But figuring out how to protect your data as a small business owner is impossible if you’re not techy, right?

Nope! Knowing how to protect your data from hackers can be simple and affordable. Read these data security tips to avoid a cyber breach and keep your (and your customers) information secure.

Hire External IT Support

You don’t need permanent, in-house cyber security staff to know how to protect your data. Hiring an external IT support team on a contract or part-time basis will help plug a few gaps in your data security plan.

For starters, they help you create data security plans for worst-case scenarios. Choose a company you can call 24/7 in case you have a cyber attack and one that will be able to give you expert software and laptop maintenance tips.

Keep All Software Updated

Many security breaches occur in businesses because people are using out-of-date tools. 

Encourage your employees to update their software and computers whenever they get a notification. It can be annoying to stop working because there you have an update, but that’s how to protect data online from hackers!

Learn Local Privacy Laws

Did you know that each state, industry, and even whole continents have their own privacy laws? Not only should you follow them for legal reasons, but they offer great cyber security tips, too.

For example, the EU created GDPR in 2018 which stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It’s the most strict privacy and security law in the world. If your business follows these guidelines, your business is likely very secure.

Educate Your Employees

But it’s no good following good security practices if your employees aren’t. Make sure every worker knows how to create a strong password and what two-factor authentication is.

All their passwords should be over eight characters with a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, and cases. They should be unique and not include personal information. If your employees can’t remember their passwords, they can download the LastPass browser extension.

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security on top of a password. This could be an email to their email address, a fingerprint, text, or a phone call.

Backup Everything

During some ransomware attacks, hackers can scramble your data and leave it unusable. In case this happens, you need to have backups of all your company data so you can recover anything lost.

In an ideal world, you would backup every day to a remote data center and a cloud server.

That’s How to Protect Your Data as a Small Business Owner

Learning how to protect your data from breaches is not an exciting task. But keeping your company and customers’ information safe is a legal necessity. Plus, you are far more likely to have a successful, trustworthy business that stands the test of time.

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