Any small business in the North will always be looking for ways to not only grow but protect what they have. Whether you are based in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds or beyond, cybercrime is something you cannot afford to ignore. The main issue for many smaller business owners in the region, though, is what to do about it. After all, most will not have massive budgets to spend in this area. The good news is that there is a range of things you can do to keep your business safe from cyberattacks without necessarily breaking the bank.
Put the right security measures in place
In many ways, protecting your small business from cybercrime follows the same basic principles as protecting it in real-life. In the same way that you shut windows and lock doors to keep your premises safe, you need to secure your business online in a similar way. Having the right protection for your servers, network and systems helps to keep hackers out – don’t present them with an easy target to take advantage of.
In real terms, this means having the right measures in place, such as anti-virus software and firewalls. Although smaller businesses may not be able to employ an IT manager to handle all this on a full-time basis, it is worth employing one on a temporary basis to get everything you need installed.
Conduct regular reviews of your online security setup
Once you have got effective cyber-security measures in place, do not think you can then forget about it. With new viruses and malicious attacks being developed by hackers constantly, your online security arrangements should also move with the times. If you do not, your online security could become obsolete and easily overcome. The best way to avoid this is to undertake a review of your arrangements once each year or after any issues. You can do this yourself if you have the relevant knowledge, or you could employ an external IT contractor to handle it for you. This cyber-security audit will help you to spot any gaps in your defences and have them fixed before they become a problem.
Take out small business insurance
Another effective way to keep your small business safe from cybercrime is to take out specialist business insurance. You may opt to take out an overall package which includes protection against online crime, or an individual package dedicated solely to this. This sort of insurance is especially useful for any businesses that trade online or handle client data.
This sort of cover will mean that your business is insured against any costs to your business caused by cybercrime, as well as loss of income after an attack and cover against any data breaches. As you can see, this could come in very useful for smaller businesses who might not cope with the financial cost of cybercrime otherwise. When you also consider that small business finances can change wildly, having the right cover in place is even more important. 1.6 million small businesses, for example, reported that their revenue doubled or halved in certain months of the year. If you were to be hit by cybercrime during a slow period with no insurance in place, it could prove disastrous.
In many cases, small businesses’ most vulnerable point is their staff. They can often unwittingly open up virus-laden emails, or give out confidential data in good faith to cyber-criminals. A great way to stay protected, therefore, is to simply educate your employees about cybercrime and the common forms it takes. By giving them the information they need to stay aware, they will be less likely to compromise your network or systems.
Staying safe online is vital
If you run your own small business in the North of England, then staying safe online really is essential. It not only keeps you compliant with GDPR laws by doing all you can to prevent data breaches, but also protects you from the cost of being hit by an attack. Most small businesses will really feel the impact of any online cybercrime – so it is worth doing what you can now to guard against it.