As you build your Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’re probably already realizing just how much there is to consider. After all, you want your company to stand the test of time, and that means making the effort to ensure that your infrastructure is sound and your long-term strategy is as detailed as possible. In addition to preparing your company for the market ahead and attracting the interest of your target audience, you also need to carefully consider the critical matter of small business cybersecurity.
In the past few years, we’ve seen some of the biggest companies in the world fall prey to cybercriminals who hack into their systems, leaking sensitive data and compromising the privacy of millions of customers. Just because major corporations are the victims you most hear about, don’t be fooled into thinking your company is safe. Cybercrime affects organizations at all levels. In some ways, your business might actually be at more risk, since you lack the resources to prepare as thoroughly as larger companies.
Thankfully, you can minimize the chances that a cyberattack will impact your business by taking some necessary precautions. Here are a few key ways you can protect your company from potential cybercrime:
Antivirus protection: This should be an obvious solution, especially since antivirus software is largely considered a must-have for personal computing. However, some businesses fail to take this very basic step. Although antivirus protection alone may not stave off all threats, it does serve as a solid baseline to help you create a strong security setup. Anything you can do to govern the flow of data through your network will contribute to keeping nefarious users out of your business.
Employee training: Make sure to discuss the potential for online security threats with your team. Keeping them in the loop via regular updates or even formal training will give them the foresight they need to avoid putting your business at risk. Once you know what to identify as a potential red flag, you are far more prepared to prevent hackers from absconding with sensitive data.
Monitoring software: These sophisticated systems are designed to prevent any data leaks from taking place. If anything resembling suspicious behavior begins to take shape, you can leap into action and contain the damage or eradicate it completely. Without it, you might not even know you've been hit by a cyberattack until it’s too late to do anything.
Password protection: Much like the antivirus protection software discussed earlier, password protection is one of the easiest and most common ways to keep a cyberattack off your radar. Using weak passwords that contain easy-to-guess words or a narrow range of characters does little to leverage the power that passwords should provide. Be sure to use strong passwords, and change them often. This action only takes a moment, but it can play an important role in enhancing your cyber security.
Secure your hardware: Many companies issue laptops, smartphones and other devices to their employees — and your team may be accessing work documents and systems on personal devices. Remember that the addition of all this hardware complicates matters like cyber security. Each of these devices presents a potential entry point for hackers to crack into your company’s system. Encryption is the best way to ensure that laptops and mobile devices are as secure as they can be — encrypted data will essentially prove useless for any hackers who gain access.
Updates and backups: Keep your system updated regularly with security patches and any other fixes. These can go a long way toward eliminating vulnerabilities that might otherwise creep into your company’s infrastructure. You should also have scheduled backups — either on an external hard drive or in the cloud — to keep all valuable data protected in case something goes awry. You might even want to perform backups as often as every few days.
Web security: The internet is such a valuable resource that has changed our day-to-day lives, both personally and professionally. But it’s easy to forget how much is at stake every time we log on. So use some best practices when surfing the web: don’t click on any suspicious links, download mysterious files or open cryptic emails that may endanger your cyber security.
Cover Your Assets
Even though the above strategies are not infallible, your company will be that much stronger for having put these steps into action. The potential damage that a cyberattack can inflict on your bottom line — and the goodwill you’ve established with customers — is catastrophic. So don’t wait until you suffer at the hands of a malicious hacker to put your customers’ privacy and your company’s future first.
At Incfile, we prioritize your company’s success by giving you the guidance and knowledge you can use as you grow your business. Our extensive resources will help you fortify your company as you work toward its long-term sustainability, both online and in the minds of your customers.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
Robert Yaniz Jr. has been a professional writer since 2004, including print and online publications. Much of his experience centers on the business world, including work for a major regional business newspaper and a global law firm