As digital business technology evolves and becomes more accessible, small businesses and solo-preneurs are employing an increasing number of these solutions to start and streamline their business endeavors. In the post-2020 pandemic environment, many businesses have had to either drastically change the way they operate or face the possibility of a shutdown.
Small to medium scale businesses in particular have faced significant challenges in these difficult times, and many haven’t re-opened after the lockdown. Using digital solutions, e-commerce platforms, and modern technology for different business operations is now necessary to keep businesses competitive, and is the most effective way to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
Fortunately, firms like EC-MSP provide the IT support businesses need to properly implement and operate their digital infrastructure. With the support of an experienced IT support team, businesses can efficiently manage their technology and get the greatest return on the money they invest in their digital setup.
In a recent study in the UK, small businesses that reopened after the pandemic have doubled their application of digital technologies to facilitate operations.
Brick and mortar stores have transitioned to selling online, whereas office-based jobs have switched to remote working. These changes make the business dependent on a variety of technologies, and it’s critical for digital infrastructure to be reliable and secure.
Whether that involves the devices being used, the network they operate through, or the users who are using the technology, cybersecurity is a multifaceted subject and all aspects need to be secured to create a bulletproof environment. A security breach could cost the business loss of personal data, loss and misuse of client information, and overall business operations can be compromised.
Cybercrime has consistently been on the rise in the past few years, and after Covid-19 this problem is – unfortunately – rapidly increasing. The transition to digital solutions by both small and large businesses – and the traffic that’s generated thereby – is exponentially growing the pool of online visitors.
More people are purchasing smart devices as they become cheaper, and internet availability is becoming more accessible all over the globe. When combined, these factors mean cybercriminals have a much larger audience to target. Moreover, many of these online visitors are unaware of the potential threats that exist when they visit online marketplaces and conduct digital transactions.
In fact, a study in 2019 showed that 43% of cyber breaches were targeted towards small businesses.
The majority of small businesses undermine their own value and assume they won’t be targeted by a cybercriminal. For this reason, they have very few – if any – digital security protocols in place.
For the cybercriminal, these are easy pickings; rather than going for one, large target, it’s significantly easier for them to attack a large number of small businesses. Moreover, the information that’s stolen from these smaller businesses can give them easy access to larger firms and other organizations connected to the smaller business.
Cybersecurity doesn’t need to be an expensive or complicated process for businesses, either. In many cases, simple steps and basic measures can be sufficient in safeguarding the business, its team members, and its stakeholders.
Some attacks are done through networks and websites, but many security breaches stem from a compromised device or computer. Making sure a businesses’ computers and devices are running the latest version of a trusted and well-reputed anti-virus will protect from malicious software such as spyware, malware, and data loggers which are tools cybercriminals use to steal information.
Anti-viruses have been around since the very early days of computers, and their continued importance often goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. Many anti-viruses are available for free, though there are a variety of paid solutions available in different price ranges. For business users, a paid anti-virus plan is a wise investment.
Hackers have developed various techniques and software designed specifically to crack passwords. Whether it’s a business email, a computer login password, or a network security key, any password can be compromised – and one compromised password can give the attacker access to many other things. Every team member should implement a strong password that uses a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.
Wherever possible, two-step authentication should be implemented, as this adds a good layer of insulation. It may take a moment longer to sign in, but it’s better than not being able to sign in at all thanks to a hacked password.
Having good security requires input from all team members; the wrong move from any one person can compromise the efforts of the entire team. All employees should be educated and trained about how they need to go about working on the digital platforms, and they should be aware of the correct procedures used to ensure security.
Whether they’re using office-based machines, logging in from a remote location, or using personal devices at work, they must exercise caution.
It isn’t uncommon for attackers to exploit bugs and loopholes in a software, targeting those who are still using outdated versions of that software. Developers constantly update their applications, not only to improve performance but also to enhance security and counter newer forms of attacks.
Smaller firms that don’t have a dedicated IT expert should make it a point for all employees to keep their machines and devices updated. For cloud-based software, updates are often done automatically by the service provider; the main concern are systems which aren’t continuously connected to the internet, or those which automatic updates are disabled.
Cybersecurity is essential for all businesses, and owners should pay attention to keeping their business and its data safe. By maintaining updated tech and employing a reputable anti-virus, solid password protocols, and providing consistent team training on current cyber threats and how to prevent them via an outsourced IT team, businesses can rest assured they’re on the right track to stay cybersecure.