As a business owner, one of your main responsibilities is to reduce threats and risks within your company. It’s your job to protect against hackers and other individuals who may be trying to steal your data.
In the past year, large businesses – such as Target and JPMorgan Chase – have been hacked in addition to nearly half (44 percent) of all small businesses, according to a survey by the National Small Business Association.
Once hacked, companies can spend millions of dollars correcting the errors, with the average cost being close to $9,000.
By ensuring you’re protected from hackers, you’re saving yourself thousands of dollars plus the headaches and stresses of the aftermath.
Turn to Technology
Luckily, advancements in technology have made it easier to protect your small business from threats and hackers.
One of the most common ways businesses protect themselves is by installing antivirus software and firewalls on their computer systems. While this should not be your only method of protection, it’s a good place to start.
The article “5 Ways technology can help facilities managers reduce risk” discusses five methods that show how technology can help reduce your business risk.
They include loss of profit, which could alert you of fraudulent activities within the company, security, access, inefficient use of time and out-of-control expenses.
Other ways technology can help reduce your business risks include:
- Getting a technical review of your company and systems – If you’re looking to increase security within your company, consider hiring a professional to see what needs better protection and what you are doing well with. They can spot errors and flaws in the system that may go unnoticed by the common eye. Professional security consultants can suggest ways to better improve your security, which could save you thousands down the line.
- Use a secure company email address – Always use an email provider that has security systems in place. Top Ten Reviews ranked the best and most secure free email providers, with the top three being Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail. Gmail scored a perfect 10 when it comes to security.
- Use a secure credit card company – Target recently experienced credit card breach that affected millions of Americans. USA Today recommends using a separate, secure company to process all credit card orders. While this won’t 100 percent guarantee protection, it will help reduce your chances of credit card breach or fraud.
- Keep passwords secure and regularly update your software – Software updates are provided to give you the best and most up-to-date technology, including better protection from hackers and viruses. If an update is available, download it as soon as possible. Change your passwords regularly and make sure they are difficult to figure out.
While you can never be fully protected against a hacker, virus or other threat, you can take many efforts to reduce your risks.
Advancements in technology help make this process easier for you and allow you to be as protected as possible.
While it may cost you money upfront, choosing to not protect your company could cost you your entire business if the wrong people were to get their hands on your data.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, technology and personal finance.