As a small business, it's tempting to think you're safe from hackers. Unfortunately, the truth is that you're sometimes more of a target than larger companies--and that means you need to get creative when it comes to data security. Here's what to know!
The Managed IT Perspective
It's easy to get so caught up in data security concerns and solutions that you lose sight of the big picture. That's when you know it's time to step back and look at security from a different perspective--and luckily, managed IT services delivers.
Think of managed IT like having an expert partner--one who's available to answer questions and talk through ideas 24/7. They've supported businesses of all shapes and sizes, so they know what different risks look like, how best to approach issues, and what to protect you from. Essentially, they offer the clarity and insight you need to get out of your own head and see things from a place of confidence instead of worry.
When you have the managed IT perspective at your disposal, it's much easier to approach SMB data security like a pro.
Managed IT Tips for SMB Data Security
You don't have to get overwhelmed by data security for your small business. Instead, brush up on these managed IT tips to help build your new perspective:
Remember why you're a target.
Small businesses are attractive to hackers and other digital criminals because they think you have tight budgets and limited security awareness. Even if these things aren't true, hackers will assume they are--which means you're at risk just because you're a smaller business.
The key is to overcome this stereotype so hackers get a nasty surprise if they try to attack your network or devices.
Think like a hacker.
You probably don't spend your days trying to take down other businesses by stealing their data, but the "hacker mindset" can be helpful for you as an SMB. When you think like a digital criminal, you'll be able to see different vulnerabilities, and you can get creative about addressing them. You'll go beyond security basics to fix issues only the bad guys would notice.
Understand the cybersecurity skills gap.
Even if you have some cybersecurity knowledge and experience, you likely aren't a data security expert--simply because you're busy running a business. Unfortunately, your people are probably in the same boat. The truth is that cybersecurity is moving quickly, which means a lot of workers aren't aware of every detail and best practice--and this creates a cybersecurity skills gap.
The best approach is to find out what you don't know. Attend conferences, read articles like this one, and pay attention to cybersecurity news so you can build your skill-set and become more confident.
Don't forget about real-world risks.
As you're choosing cybersecurity solutions, you might get so busy protecting data and software that you forget about real-world risks like those related to hardware. For example, encryption is great--but who or what is protecting your documents when they're abandoned on the print tray?
To bring your focus back to the real world, you need to see both the forest and the trees. The "forest" is your IT environment overall, connected by networks and software, but the "trees" represent each individual device and tool. If you can see both, you'll have a better understanding of data security solutions and how to leverage them.
Make employees part of your plan.
Employees are on the front lines of data security. Instead of leaving them to navigate risks and challenges alone, give them the information, skills, and software solutions they need to be active data defenders. For example, you should teach them how to identify phishing scams in different forms and identify the most reliable apps or data-sharing tools.
Work on emergency plans.
Disaster recovery is part of any good cybersecurity approach, especially for SMBs. That's not just because you need a way to quickly and effectively bounce back from an attack; it's also beneficial to teach yourself how to think from a "worst-case scenario" perspective. You'll have better insight into your priorities, strengths, weaknesses, and more--all while creating a plan that can guide you in case of data breaches, loss, or other incidents.
SMB cybersecurity isn't the easiest topic to manage, especially since smaller businesses are at higher risk than other companies. The key to a solid defense is to take advantage of the managed IT perspective. With an expert partner at your back, you'll be able to navigate these challenges with clarity and confidence.
Ready to step up your cybersecurity game? Contact us today to see how managed IT can help support your small business.