You start a business. You grow your company from an idea to a fully functioning and profitable entity. With success comes clients and, as with most companies, you store personal information either to be used in marketing or from a purchase. As a result, you hold the keys to many of the things that your customers value and treasure in their lives and it is now your responsibility to protect your their personal information. Additionally, your company has a myriad of confidential and private information internally that needs to be protected.
The premise is simple: Protect your company's data along with your customers' data. But the execution is complex. Over the past several years we have learned this fact as companies -- from the retail giant Target to the credit reporting service Equifax -- have fallen victim to cyberattacks.
While cybersecurity tools, consultants, software and hardware are all handsomely expensive, none of them have the immediate positive impact on bottom lines that other technologically centered additions do. This means that it is just not as fun to invest in cybersecurity products and services as it is to outfit your team with lightening-fast laptops. Still, a sound cybersecurity plan and deft execution can be an amazing selling point for customers and clients as awareness grows across society at large. Here are a few ways to take control.
Understand Cybersecurity Applies To You
The first step to protecting your business is to understand that the threat is real. Many times when news of wide-scale data breaches flood Facebook feeds and media outlets, business owners take solace in the fact that while Target may have been hacked, their company is too small to be at risk. This is a false sense of security. According to Symantec, over 43 percent of cyberattacks in 2015 were targeted toward small businesses — and this number will only rise. Furthermore, only 14 percent of small business believe that their current ability to guard against cyberattacks is effective. Thus, cybersecurity is a small- and medium-sized business problem -- one most are not addressing properly.
Seek (Quality) Advice
No matter what type of business your company conducts, even if it is technology-based, your business can benefit from an outside set of eyes. The technology and data surrounding cybersecurity are constantly changing and evolving. This means that while you may have some of the most brilliant tech minds around grinding out your code, their focus is not necessarily security -- and the result is vulnerability.
Accordingly, it is totally acceptable, if not necessary, to work with a cybersecurity professional. A simple Google search for "cybersecurity services" will yield thousands of results. Not only will consulting a professional make your operations more secure, but this contact will go a long way. In the event that a cyberattack happens, the contact will fend off would-be lawsuits by showing that you took adequate measures for security. MORE