The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do business, perhaps forever. For small business owners, COVID-19 has brought new challenges, from supply chain disruptions to coronavirus protection measures…and of course, cybersecurity risks.
Cybersecurity is an increasing challenge for small businesses in the age of COVID. With more businesses relying on remote work, security risks are higher. SMBs are now a new target for hackers.
Staff and customers are under stress enough already, so the last thing they and you need is a security breach that could lead to customer privacy issues.
Unfortunately, some businesses have an out-of-date identity or are slow to transform – does this possibly sound like yours? The “we have always done things this way” line of thinking may be quite perilous when it comes to cybersecurity.
Additionally, smaller staff may make it difficult to manage security risks properly. Fortunately, services such as managed IT can make a huge difference for little cost.
Security Risks and Cyber Threats Faced by Small Businesses
So, what makes small businesses so attractive to today’s cyber criminals? In many cases, small businesses aren’t able to keep up with their cybersecurity as much as a larger business. Websites, documents, and email communications can all be vulnerable to cyberattacks.
A small business website that is running on old or out-of-date software can be a prime target for hackers and spammers. The popular website platform WordPress is a prime target for hacking if it is not well-maintained.
Emails can be a doorway to a cybersecurity nightmare. If an employee accidentally clicks on a phishing scam, they could potentially open the door for your entire network to be taken over by ransomware.
Remote work has become a necessity since COVID-19 for many businesses, but without proper processes in place, it could open you up to security risks. If your staff is sharing documents insecurely you could be exposing your computer systems to viruses or data breaches. (A document management solution can be a great way to solve this problem.)
Printers and copiers are actually a big security hole for many businesses. Why? Because modern printers are often connected to the Internet, and an open port can be an easy entryway for a hacker to sneak into your network.
Best Practices to Improve Cybersecurity
Here are a few ways to make your systems more secure and reduce security risks:
1. Conduct a Security Audit of Your Small Business
In order to know what needs to be fixed, you first need to do a thorough inventory of your network, IT systems, processes, and peripherals. You might also want to review your staff knowledge of cybersecurity best practices and document sharing practices.
2. Create a Cybersecurity Plan
Once you’ve done a thorough audit of your systems, people, and processes for potential security risks, you can create a cybersecurity plan. The plan should include staff resources, consultants, software upgrades, product purchases, training, and anything else needed to secure your small business.
Working with qualified consultants such as CDS Office Technologies can make a huge difference here. We know how to secure systems for small businesses in cost effective ways.
3. Establish Cybersecurity Processes and Procedures
Ultimately, good cybersecurity comes down to people. This means everyone, at all levels of the business, should be briefed, educated, and trained on best practices to mitigate security risks. They will be helped by the right processes and systems. For example, a good document management system will help enable remote work and transfer of documents in a secure manner.
How Managed IT Can Help Mitigate Security Risks
One of the main reasons small businesses struggle with implementing the right cybersecurity measures is the lack of staff resources. Managed technology services (aka managed IT) can fill in those resource gaps and provide the cybersecurity expertise and support your business needs.
Does your small business need help with cybersecurity? CDS Office Technologies has the expertise. Contact us today for a custom solution to cybersecurity needs.