Major data breaches at big companies have brought cyber security to the forefront, but businesses of all sizes are affected. An attack on a small business can be financially devastating, and up to 60% of these companies close up shop within six months of a breach. If a company is already backing up its data and using anti-virus software, they’re on the right path but it’s always possible to do more. By implementing these tips, business owners can ensure that their companies can stand up to a cyber attack.
Establish Employee Internet Policies
Companies should have written policies on all cyber security aspects, from proper email use to accountability rules for social media. If employees aren’t educated on the dangers of poor online behavior, the company could be vulnerable to a breach. According to the US Small Business Administration, companies should also detail the consequences of internet policy violation.
Encrypt Sensitive Data
A data breach can result in millions of dollars in costs, especially for big organizations. However, small companies are not immune to these expenses. To avoid the monumental cost of such a breach, small business owners should consider some form of data encryption. Here, data is converted into code that can only be decrypted with a password. Encryption protects valuable and sensitive information such as email accounts, networks, operating systems and cloud storage from cyber attacks.
Consider Cyber Security Insurance
A general liability policy might not be enough to help a small business owner recoup losses related to a cyber attack. For this, the owner may need a separate policy. Cyber security insurance can be tailored to meet a small business owner’s budgetary needs, and the experts suggest policies that combine first- and third-party coverage. These policies allow companies to recoup general costs and they cover the costs associated with lawsuits from affected parties.
In the next few years, as threats evolve, there’s a chance that any company can suffer a cyber security attack. Small business owners should think early and often about increasing security, and the tips above can help them protect their business and customers’ sensitive data. With a proper plan in place, a company can get through any data breach.