How to Protect Your Data as a Small Business

How to Protect Your Data as a Small Business

As a small business owner, you’re obviously an intimate part of your company’s operations. Often, years of hard work and brand building are destroyed with a single data breach. Even if your reputation isn’t impacted, the average data breach cost businesses $4.24 million last year.

If you’re not actively working on protecting your data, you need to start.

A few of the tips that our team recommends after years of offering cybersecurity in Miami include:

Cybersecurity in Miami: 6 Tips to Protect Your SMB’s Data

1. Invest in Email Encryption

Email is one of the leading forms of communication in business, and a lot of confidential data is transferred using this medium, including but not limited to:

  • Invoices
  • Contracts
  • Billing information
  • Company plans

One way to protect your email data is to incorporate email encryption solutions. Encryption is being widely used in the healthcare and financial industries. Additionally, you can find solutions that will scan inboxes for malware and phishing attempts.

2. Create an Internal Security Policy

Security starts with your team and policies. A few of the integral steps that you can take to strengthen your business’s data security are:

  • Train employees on best practices
  • Require no outside devices be used on your network
  • Establish strict policies on following links and downloading files via email

Policies and training can help bring teams up to speed on data security and the importance of keeping customer data secure.

3. Schedule Routine, Critical Data Backups

Hackers can compromise your data, but there are always risks of hardware failure or corruption doing the same thing. Business owners should have backup policies in place that allow:

  • Critical data to be stored on-site and off-site
  • Backup solutions to keep data backed up and encrypted on the cloud

If you’re running databases, ensure that you have some form of redundancy in place that allows data to still be accessed and available if one database goes down.

4. Establish a System and Software Update Policy

Hackers will use zero-day security bugs and known security holes to infiltrate your business. In fact, many data breaches could have been avoided with a system and software update policy. Create a policy that offers:

  • Rapid, routine software updates
  • Rapid, routine system updates

The faster you update key software and operating systems and phase out solutions that are no longer maintained, the better.

5. Vet Your Payment Processors and Work with Them

If you accept debit, credit or checks, you’ll work with a payment processor that handles the verification process with the issuing bank. Custom data is transferred from your business to the payment processor, creating an additional point of potential data security issues.

You should:

  • Vet the payment processor to ensure that they’re using the industry’s best data security measures.
  • Work alongside the payment processor to install all point-of-sale systems and hardware.
  • Follow recommendations from the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

While these tips will help you strengthen your business’s overall security and data, they’re just a small part of what needs to be done to protect your data as a small business. Custom solutions and data protection strategies are recommended for true, robust data security.

Do you need help with cybersecurity in Miami or the surrounding area? Give us a call to learn how we can harden your business’s data and reduce the risk of data breaches.