Small business management is not for the faint of heart. Creativity, ingenuity, and consistency are all necessary ingredients for a small business to thrive in the marketplace. Thankfully, as it pertains to technology, small businesses and big businesses alike can compete in an equalized environment. With the right skills and tools, small businesses can now reach and retain customers in a way once belonging only to big businesses. Unfortunately, with equal opportunity comes equal threat. Data security breaches place even the smallest businesses at risk on a daily basis.
5 Small Business Network Security Trends
The following 5 small business network security trends are essential to keeping small businesses safe from threats:
1. Outsource IT
Small business owners have plenty to do without adding technology management to the list. Not only is in-house IT expensive, but it requires daily evaluation and constant attention. To this end, more businesses are relying on outsourced IT to meet their online and network security needs. Without adding the increased cost of additional staff or in-office overhead, small business managers are able to outsource their technology to-do list to professionals who can carefully monitor trends and threats around the clock, without costing small businesses an arm and a leg.
2. Update Equipment
Spending money to update laptops, desktops, and routers is every small business owner’s nightmare. The only thing worse? Being targeted by a hacker who identifies small business security vulnerabilities. The good news is that multi-function devices like phones and iPads make updating equipment less intimidating and less costly. Updating equipment is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for a business who wants to remain safe from threats.
3. Document Protocol
Though it as enjoyable to think about as a root canal, small business owners need to be aware that threats to their small business network security can come from within. Disgruntled employees or untrustworthy partners remain a threat to any business. Creating policies–including who has the right to what information and what happens to the information when an employee leaves the business–is of critical importance. Putting policies in writing is a non-personal, positive step toward protecting the company from needless threats. There is zero reason for the existence of internal threats.
4. Streamline Security
Each time a security vendor interacts with a small business’s firewall, the company’s network security is placed at greater risk. As often as possible, companies should attempt to do business with one security vendor for their antivirus software and hardware firewall needs. Most of the heavyweights in the network security business offer package deals that make this option possible and affordable.
5. Minimize Risks
Perhaps the greatest key to ensuring small business network security is staying up-to-date on existing and emerging threats. One vital component to minimizing risks is keeping employees engaged in security awareness. No longer is it sufficient for “the I.T. guy” to be in the loop on security threats. Employees should know what to look for and how to respond to suspicious activity. Specifically, employees with business credit cards or network administrative privileges should understand how to best safeguard the business’s strong security culture. People–not software–are a small business’s best defense against network security breaches.
While it is true that data security breaches place even the smallest businesses at risk on a regular basis, it is also true that small businesses are not alone in the fight for safety. Addressing the problem with proactive solutions can allow any business–large or small–to maintain a robust network security.
These 5 security solutions make it possible:
- Outsourcing IT
- Updating equipment
- Documenting protocol
- Streamlining security
- Minimizing risks