Small businesses make up about 44% of the U.S. economy. From boutiques to family-owned restaurants and everything in between, small businesses account for many meaningful and unique industries. Though their charm and originality may attract a particular clientele, they also incite hackers and attacks with cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Fortunately, business owners and entrepreneurs can implement defense strategies to keep their companies protected.
Safeguarding your small company can be done by securing physical and online property. However, it's important to be informed of threats. For example, malicious software, also known as malware, intentionally damages a computer, server or network. Other dangers include viruses, ransomware and phishing. Cyberattacks can be hidden in encrypted emails with false links or attachments containing destructive malware.
Breaches can put bank account numbers, passwords and physical access to your business at risk. Not only do they leave your company vulnerable to further, long-term damage, but 60% of small businesses that are victims of cyberattacks shut down within six months of a breach. Losses can accrue from banking information theft and disruption of regular business, as well as damage to your reputation.
Practicing good cyber hygiene for your business is crucial to protecting sensitive data. Given that breaches are designed to be sneaky in every way imaginable, training employees in cyberthreat defense is critical. Educate your staff on how to handle suspicious emails and establish best practices through training and incentives to create a more secure network. Keep your protective software up to date to avoid weak spots and prevent outsiders from accessing your data.
Whether you're in your first year of business or have decades of experience, cybersecurity is a vital part of caring for your small business. Take a look at our other tips for making your company's defense stronger against cyberattacks.
Author bio: Travis Ray is Director of Customer Care & Strategic Marketing for KEYper® Systems, a key management and storage systems company. Ray is responsible for overseeing the customer care team that provides software and hardware support for new and current clients.
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