Business owners know how important it is to protect themselves from cybercrime. How to do it effectively, and without spending a fortune, is harder to understand. The truth is, there are a variety of cybersecurity tools designed to offer different kinds of protection, levels of support from professionals, and more. Some of the most effective tactics, such as employee training, may cost a fraction of what other tools do.
Although it can be intimidating for small business owners to delve into the world of cybersecurity, there are easy ways to get started that can help you avoid unnecessary expenses at the same time. Business owners can learn how to invest in cybersecurity wisely and safely, and with a keen eye on expenses as well.
Begin with the basics
The biggest vulnerability in your IT infrastructure may in fact be your employees. Most cyberattacks rely on human behavior to succeed. Many phishing attempts take advantage of people letting their guard down when using tech: an email that looks like it’s from a manager or bank can cause people to let their guard down or encourage them to reply or act in haste.
The good news is these best practices usually come without costs beyond your own time. These efforts are either low-cost or free to implement, meaning the foundations of a good defense don’t have to come with a high price tag.
Training employees to be vigilant with how they use your company’s network is priceless, as they’re your first line of defense against a successful attack. Recommend your staff slow down to scrutinize emails, suspicious links, or requests for information that you’d never make over email (such as an important bank account number).
Evaluate your needs and vulnerabilities
Employee training is a good practice for every business that wants to keep their data safe. Going deeper—checking networks, applications used, and who has access to your system are all vital for keeping your network as closed off to threat vectors as possible. There are platforms and security experts who can help you spot vulnerabilities throughout your organization.
Once you understand where the biggest threats are, you can take proactive steps to reinforce them. That might mean upgrading your security software, installing more robust firewalls to keep intruders away, or outsourcing monitoring efforts to a third-party specialist. Knowing where you’re exposed is the first step: from there, you can determine your budget and needs before taking action.
Right-size your security software and tools
When you know you’re missing in terms of technology and cybersecurity tools, you can address weaknesses through new tech tools or enterprise storage platforms. Some businesses decide to move their systems to the cloud. In doing so, they’re able to offload some cybersecurity work from their own organization and put it in the hands of full-time experts. Going to the cloud for apps and storage can help you get top-class protection at a fraction of the expense it might take to implement and maintain the same tools on your own system.
Cloud computing packages come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most businesses can find a service tier that corresponds to their needs, whether that’s a certain number of accounts or range of tools. The more you can dial in what you need, the better you can avoid spending on what you don’t.
Know how to budget for cybersecurity
It’s important to invest adequately in your computer network and its safety. A data breach can cost not just money, it can also cause reputational harm to your business. Cybersecurity tools and support can be expensive, but they may be more cost-effective than fixing what’s left behind after a successful cyberattack.
Budget plays an important role in determining the right security software and platforms for your business. Larger businesses, or those who deal with a large volume of sensitive information, may not be able to avoid paying a premium for services. Smaller companies may find that their needs aren’t as great. Keep your budget and needs in mind when choosing the right cybersecurity tools for your business: you may find there’s a sweet spot for your enterprise.
Approaching cybersecurity the right way
Getting cybersecurity right for your business is vital. Employee, customer, and business data are all at risk if your technology and cybersecurity strategy aren’t current. This doesn’t mean spending more than you need to on software that’s more powerful than you need, however.
Getting cybersecurity right, and at the right price, are equally important for small and medium-sized businesses. Much of that begins by partnering with the right organizations, such as a bank that offers robust cybersecurity tools to its clients.