Small businesses, especially in big business areas like Southern California, may think that they are less likely to experience hacking or data theft because they aren’t as well known as other businesses.
However, they actually face an increased risk of a cyber attack because they generally have fewer security measures in place.
In fact, more than half of all small businesses that suffer a data breach will go out of business within six months. A data breach can have serious long-term effects on a small business.
Your business reputation could be damaged and you could lose customers. Successful hacking can also dramatically increase expenses in damage control and decrease revenue.
Fortunately, you can protect your business by understanding the security risks you face. Here are 3 signs that your Southern California business needs a risk assessment as soon as possible:
1. You’re Working Remotely
Remote working is more popular than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there are many benefits to working at home such as a better work-life balance, no more commuting, and savings on office space, it’s important to be aware of the downsides and threats to your business that remote work can bring.
As companies increasingly turn to remote working solutions, it’s important for them to keep their employees and data safe from cyber attacks.
Without proper procedures and security measures in place, your company may unintentionally expose sensitive information, or data may be stolen as it crosses networks and platforms.
There are several ways to secure your business data, even while everyone is working remotely. First, consider investing in cloud solutions, which allow your employees to access company data wherever they are.
Second, create a training course for your remote workers which teaches them about how to avoid phishing attempts, how to create secure passwords, and how to keep business data secure.
Third, if you are working remote and connecting to your business systems onsite, at your company location, then have the proper security technologies in place that assist in mitigating your risk posture. If you are not sure, we can review and help tighten up any vulnerable areas.
2. You Don’t Have a Managed Service Provider
There are endless ways for your data to become vulnerable to attacks, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on red flags and preventative measures in order to keep data secure. This level of protection is a full-time job that requires specialized knowledge and experience.
Since your business may not have the resources to hire an in-house IT department, it is worthwhile to explore other trusted IT management systems such as a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
An MSP manages all technology risks and implements preventative measures for a business. A Managed Service Provider will monitor your systems day and night so that your data is never left vulnerable.
They also make sure that your company is secure from even the most advanced cyber threats.
In addition, they perform regular risk assessments for your business. A risk assessment includes an analysis of your current protection methods to detect any weaknesses.
Examining your current system helps an MSP to know where to increase security. Finding these weak points before they turn into leaks can help your business avoid a costly breach.
3. You Don’t Have a VPN
If your business normally relies on in-house servers to secure its data, a VPN or Virtual Private Network is key. VPNs allow your employees to connect to your onsite servers securely over the Internet.
A VPN also ensures all data traveling over the connection remains encrypted, ensuring unauthorized users are unable to view it. If you do not have VPN, your business data is at risk for potential exposure.
With so much data being stored and sent between coworkers and customers, there are many opportunities for that information to be lost or stolen. Protecting your Southern California business with the help of a risk assessment from a trusted IT company in Ventura will help protect sensitive material from being intercepted by those with malicious intent.