As we head towards winter, it’s a great time for small businesses to do some deep cleaning on your data and cybersecurity best practices. You should ask:
- How clean is my data, and is it sufficiently protected against security threats?
- What are the resources I need to ensure constant protection as my business grows?
- And, more importantly, what are the right security technologies and best practices I should consider using?
Here are some key insights and considerations to get you started — just in time for winter.
Customer Privacy is Your Top Priority
Customer privacy is a concern for all small business owners. Data protection is about limiting access to customer information. Only a select few people at your business should have direct access to customer data.
Protocols like this prevent unsecured devices from accessing the site or backdoors being created through phishing or fake user access. Strong password-protected computers and devices containing the latest anti-spyware and anti-malware are critical. And as a rule, passwords must be changed every month.
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is also a good idea. This requires two distinct forms of identification in order to access something. It can be used to strengthen the security of an online account, and works by requiring two types of information from the user: a password or personal identification number (PIN), a code sent to the user’s smartphone, or a fingerprint — before whatever is being secured can be accessed.
Create a Plan to Protect Against Attacks
After a cyberattack, it is estimated that 60% of small businesses close. The damage a single attack can inflict on a company and its customers is staggering. Yet most small business owners are so short-sighted that they think their website won’t be targeted. Nearly half of all cyberattacks intentionally target smaller companies.
This is why building a cybersecurity plan is a crucial necessity for every new online business that opens.
Data Transparency is Key
If you’re an online business owner who monitors and manages data risk, it’s important to inform your customers exactly how their data is collected, used, and secured. Customers will not want to buy from a store without the proper security in place and without assurances about correct data management. This comes in the form of a set of policy documents that should be included in the cybersecurity plan. It’s also important to provide transparency about your intentions with customer data and allow them to opt out of these plans to give them greater control. You should also always update consumers on the latest protections.
Deep Clean Your Cybersecurity Best Practices
Keeping a close eye on customer privacy concerns, creating an airtight cybersecurity plan, being transparent about your intentions with customer data, and always updating consumers on the latest data laws and protections will help you build and increase the trust your customers have in your small business. And that will only lead to more sales and stronger customer loyalty.
As we head towards wind, take this opportunity to follow these steps and do a refresh of your data and cybersecurity practices. It will be good for your customers, your employees, and ultimately your bottom line.
And if you need help, please contact us at Security Everywhere. We love to help small businesses secure their money, data and reputation with our managed security services.