The age of the Internet has brought with it an increase in both communication and business opportunities. Businesses are no longer restricted in terms of marketing their products. Nowadays, global marketing can take place with a simple click of the mouse. With this advance in communication and marketing success, though, comes an increased risk of security, especially for smaller companies. Whether it be protecting consumer personal data or properly maintaining sales and financial data, when information is stored in a computer or on a server, security must be effective. Here's what computer security can do for your small business.
Stealing digital information has been the most common type of fraud, even surpassing physical theft. When using computers to store pertinent data, security is of the utmost importance for both the business and its consumers.
What do small businesses expect from security tech?
Security tech isn't just the protection of data. It is an all-encompassing function that must meet the needs of an organization, work without problems, and keep data safe and secure. There are three primary objectives that security tech must strive to achieve:
- Operation without interruption
- No lock downs by IT department
- Steer clear of viruses
It is also expected that a security tech department can keep data safe from the threat of loss or theft. Ransomware (malicious software that keeps a computer from functioning until a certain sum of money is paid) can lock up a business for days, if not longer, but can easily be avoided with the right security. The same applies to viruses, which are renowned for causing huge data losses.
How do your clients feel about their data being exposed?
Do you think your customers would appreciate it if their data was stolen or accessed by an entity other than you? This could cause huge problems for your business, including the possibility of lawsuits and having to close your doors. This is why it is so important that proper cyber security protocols are set into place and strictly followed in regards to your business computer operations.
Why do small businesses suffer more from ineffective computer security?
There have been a few major hacks over the past several years in relation to consumer financial information. Still yet, those, large companies that have endured such attacks did not take a huge financial loss in comparison to smaller companies that were hacked. Take for example the following three large companies:
- Sony: Hack cost the company less than 2% of its projected annual revenue
- Home Depot: Hack cost the company less than 0.01% of its annual revenue
- Target: Hack cost the company less than 1% of its annual revenue
While the total cost of these breaches and hacks were in the millions for each company, they still didn't feel much financial pressure in the end because of their large revenues. Smaller businesses, however, cannot afford such breaches. Cyber security thus becomes more important to smaller companies.
Two tips for effective computer security
Proper training for employees: All employees should be required to go through a 2-step authentication process when accessing customer data. Each step of the authentication process should revolve around a strong password that includes letters, numbers, and symbols. Employees should also be updated regularly on the latest computer security practices, including those related to handling customer information.
Protect Wi-Fi: If you are going to provide a Wi-Fi network for your employees or customers, it must be password protected to help secure pertinent data. If it is not protected, then anyone can access your Internet, thus making it more likely for a hacker to hack important business and customer information.