Most small businesses are not as concerned about security as they should be. After all, business owners can’t afford to spend all day worrying about cybersecurity breaches. But do you know what? Neither can your company afford to have its data compromised. A single data breach can cost even small businesses millions of dollars.
Just because you haven’t been breached yet, doesn’t mean you won’t be in the future. Whether it’s malware or human error, there are plenty of ways a hacker can breach your systems if you don’t have the right protocols in place. Additionally, hackers are getting cleverer in their tactics to ensure they can manipulate the right people to gain access to your company’s data. Here’s how to tell if your business is at risk of a cybersecurity breach.
You Don’t Have a Dedicated IT Team
If you have a dedicated IT team, it’s likely that your business is more prepared to deal with cybersecurity threats than those without an IT department. If you don’t have a dedicated team or can’t afford one, then you should seriously consider hiring or outsourcing someone with the skills required to manage your company’s IT. You can even hire a company to give you a cybersecurity risk rating to measure how at risk your systems are and what you can do to reduce your risk of a breach.
A dedicated security professional will be able to monitor incoming threats and vulnerabilities as well as software updates and patches in order to keep your network safe from attack. They’ll also help ensure that all of your employees are aware of the latest security measures available to them so that they can take proper precautions when working on their computers at home or in the office.
You Allow Employees the Freedom to Add Software to Company Computers
While it may not seem like a bad idea, it’s best not to give staff the freedom to put software on their work computers. Many programs have vulnerabilities that average employees are unaware of. These software solutions may seem great, but they could put your company at risk for a cybersecurity breach.
To prevent this from happening, you should implement policies that dictate which programs can and cannot be added onto company computers. For example, if employees need access to certain utility software (such as antivirus or performance monitoring utilities), then make sure there are strict policies in place regarding how those tools should be used on company systems.
Your Employees Are Not Trained on Cybersecurity Best Practices
Your employees are your first line of defense against cybersecurity threats. If they don’t understand the risks, or if they don’t know how to handle suspicious situations, that can make your company vulnerable. A recent study found that as many as 80% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email—and it’s usually because an employee clicks on a link in that email.
You should train your employees on cybersecurity best practices like how to spot phishing emails and what to do if they see something suspicious online. You can also send out periodic reminders about these best practices via email or within your intranet.
You Don’t Have a Risk Management Plan in Place
If you don’t have a risk management plan in place, your business is at risk for a cyberattack. You should have one in place as soon as possible. A risk management plan will help you understand the threats that are most likely to affect your company and how to mitigate them. You can use a template or guidebook on how to create a cybersecurity risk management plan. Once you’ve created it, review it regularly with all employees so they know what’s expected of them when it comes to protecting against cyberattacks.
You Use Software That No Longer Has Tech Support
Software is a critical part of running a business. It can be expensive to buy and maintain, but don’t let that deter you from investing in the right software for your company. Security issues can arise from outdated versions of operating systems and applications on your computers because they no longer receive patches and updates.
You Don’t Have a Firewall in Place
A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. These can be implemented both as hardware or software, or even a combination of both. A firewall serves as a gateway between two networks; it keeps unwanted intruders out while letting authorized users in.