Small businesses have a great deal of challenges to face, especially when just starting out. While there are many tools available to small businesses that allow them to grow with less overhead, such as mobile technology and data sharing, these options also bring new avenues for risk.
Cybercrime is becoming a significant threat to all industries, but especially to small businesses. According to The Guardian, 90 percent of small and medium sized businesses in the U.S. don't have cybersecurity measures in place, based on a report by McAfee. This is a concern and needs to change.
Large companies invest a great deal into security measures. According to a study by the Computer Science Corporation and CIO Strategic Marketing Services, in which the researchers questioned almost 600 chief information officers, 71 percent of CIOs named technology investment as a top priority for 2015.
However, small businesses typically aren't financially in a position to maintain the standard of data protection large corporations use. However, this doesn't mean small businesses are defenseless.
Put security measures in place. Though it is difficult to prevent everything, there are basic barriers to establish.
- Encryption: When storing information on local software, it is crucial to encrypt the data. Computers and other hardware devices can be hacked,as can digital storage, according to PC World. Many small businesses keep documents stored within wireless programs, which generally have built-in security measures, but that is no reason to ignore the files on a machine.
- Interaction: Small businesses interact with each other, and this sharing of information, even emails, can be a risk. This doesn't mean small businesses should avoid sharing information, only that they make sure the other is operating within a secure network, recommended IT Industry News. One business could easily put another at risk.
- Insurance: There is no reason for a small business not to be insured. No matter what precautions a company takes to keep data safe and business growing, unfortunate events still strike. In the way that small businesses interacting should both have cybersecurity measures in place, they should also both have business insurance. If something should happen, such as a data breach, one company doesn't want to be liable for loss that occurred to the other as a result of cybertheft.
While a small business invests in cybersecurity, insurance is its way of investing in itself.