The Importance of Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

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Tudor Lodge

Over recent years the threat of cyber-attack has become ever more prevalent with governments, large corporations and other high-profile organisations all falling victim. A common misconception is that small businesses are of no interest to cyber criminals. In fact, they’re often more vulnerable than they believe. This is why cybersecurity stocks are expected to rise – greater awareness of the problem and attempts to tackle it will lead to growth for those operating in the industry. 

There are a number of reasons why cybersecurity is growing in importance. One of the most obvious is that we’re simply conducting more of our deals and transactions online.  All that information held on distant cloud services represents a sitting duck unless it is adequately protected. Any small business that transfers data over the internet is accountable for any data breach that might take place. Additionally, employees are increasingly working from mobile devices; laptops, mobile phones and tablets, particularly those used to access public Wi-Fi, all bolster your chances of attack. When data is stolen, and money lost as a consequence, the repercussions of an attack don’t end there. Reputational damage can strangulate a small business; without your customers’ trust, how can you continue to operate? Taken together, these examples make it clear why cybersecurity stocks have been gradually rising in value.

Although the notion of tackling cyber security and protecting your small business may seem a daunting one, in fact it can be relatively easy. It’s a matter of preparation and doing all you can to make your enterprise less penetrable to cyber criminals. One of the most basic measures to take is to back up your data. That way, if hackers find their way into your system, corrupted or stolen data can be retrieved. Make backing up part of your regular routine. Malware is another watchword. There are all sorts of anti-malware products on the market, some of which are free. Find out which one is best for your type of business and introduce it before it’s too late. Enforcing rules around the use and security of mobile devices is another easy step to take, as is the promotion across your business of sensible password use. For some businesses, it may be worth investing in specialist cyber security training to make sure all staff are briefed on everything from phishing to firewalls.

While it’s not possible to define exactly how cybercrime and its opposite, cyber security, will develop in the future, they will almost certainly become an ever-greater consideration for us all, both personally and professionally. Developments will be related to the way IT systems are evermore intertwined with each other and with our daily lives. Virtual assistants, automated decision-making, internet-enabled objects like cars and white goods – all these will change the cybercrime landscape.

Although the threat of cybercrime may feel overwhelming, in fact we have many tools at our disposal both to prevent attacks and to protect our information. The most sensible approach is to arm yourself with information and stay up-to-date. We can also be comforted by the fact that there are many more people working to improve cyber security than there are those setting out to defraud organisations. The world’s best digital minds are constantly working to stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals, thwarting their efforts to profit from online misdemeanours.

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