Small business security is the protection of your business from threats such as cyber criminals, malicious hackers and data loss. In this section, we’ll look at the different types of threats that face small businesses and how to protect yourself against them.
Install Top-Notch Antivirus Software
Installing antivirus software is one of the most important things you can do to bolster security for your business. You should install it on all of your computers and make sure it’s kept up-to-date. Antivirus programs detect, remove and prevent viruses from infecting devices and networks.
If you want to keep viruses out of your small business, consider purchasing software that’s compatible with your operating system—this way, you’ll be able to run automatic updates as soon as they become available (and benefit from their latest features).
It’s also wise to have a firewall installed on each device in order to prevent internet threats from penetrating into the network; this is especially true if employees are using mobile devices at work because these are more susceptible than desktop machines.
Use Strong Passwords to Minimise the Chance of Your Accounts Being Hacked
You should also use a strong password to minimise the chance of your accounts being hacked.
A strong password is one that is long and contains both upper- and lowercase characters, as well as numbers and symbols. It should not be a word in the dictionary, or have any significance to you.
The longer it is, the better – but be careful not to make it too hard to remember. A good method is to take a sentence and add capital letters in random places (e.g., “I don’t know if I can eat another one”).
If you have trouble remembering this type of password, consider using a password manager like LastPass or Dashlane that will store all your passwords for you securely online so they’re easy for you to access from any device whenever needed!
Be Aware of Data Protection Laws That Apply to You
In the UK, there are several data protection laws that apply to small businesses.
GDPR is the most relevant one. The aim of GDPR is to bolster and unify data protection within the European Union, regardless of where they live or work.
The Data Protection Act 2018 was enforced at exactly the same time as GDPR came into force; so it’s important for you as a business owner or manager to understand how these laws affect your organization in order for you to protect yourself from any potential fines or penalties incurred by non-compliance with either regulation.
Protect Your Customer’s Data
When you’re storing data, there are a few things to remember:
- Don’t store sensitive data in the cloud. If you want your customer’s information to be safe, don’t put it on another company’s servers. Make sure you have a backup plan for your own server so that if something happens to their system, your data is still accessible.
- Don’t store sensitive data in a public folder. Anyone who has access to this folder or knows its name can see what’s inside—and they might not be as careful with other people’s information as they would with their own!
- Don’t store sensitive data in an email attachment (or even worse, an unencrypted one!). If someone gets hold of one of these files and opens them up on another device, then that person could easily read through the message thread and see everything that was sent back and forth between them earlier today…or last week…or even last month!
Encrypt Sensitive Information Like Customer Details, Financial Information Etc.
There are many ways to protect sensitive information. Encryption is one of the best methods for doing so. Encrypting data helps to protect it from being accessed by third parties, because if you encrypt your data and then send it out, no one can read it unless they have the decryption key.
Encryption can be done with a software program or a hardware device. Software encryption is often used when sending sensitive information via email or storing files in the cloud; however, this method only protects against hackers who might intercept your network traffic while in transit. Hardware devices like USB drives provide more protection by physically rendering the data inaccessible without first decrypting it using its own unique encryption keys (or passphrase).
You may want to check out our post on pension transfers as well.
Back Up Your Data Regularly
Back up your data regularly. You should be doing this once a week, whether you have one computer or ten.
The first option is to use an online backup service. The advantage of this method is that it’s easy and inexpensive.
Your second option is to back up your data using an encrypted external hard drive.
Use a Firewall
Firewalls are hardware or software that restricts access to a network. They’re used to protect your business from cyber-attacks, and can be either physical, software or both. You’ll need an internet connection for this type of firewall, but not necessarily a Wi-Fi router.
Update Your Systems Regularly
Keeping your systems up-to-date is a vital piece of keeping your business safe. Regularly updating your computer and mobile devices will ensure that you are protected against the latest security threats. This will also ensure that you’re using the most secure version of operating systems, browsers and other software.
You should check for updates on a daily basis by going to Settings > System > Software Update on macOS or Windows, or navigating to Help > Check for Updates on iOS or later versions of Android. If there’s an update available for any of these platforms/operating systems, follow the prompts as directed by Apple Inc, Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft), Google LLC (Google) and other companies that develop software used in computers today.
If there are no updates available when you go through this process then don’t worry! Just make sure it’s something you keep checking regularly so that if they do become available they can be implemented quickly before hackers have time to exploit them within potential victims’ networks.
Do know that you can outsource some tasks related to business security.