Security breaches, cyber attacks and criminal hacking are responsible for major losses to both large and small businesses. In addition to cybersecurity issues, businesses can also face a variety of other devastating types of loss. Here are five steps you can take to help protect your business in 2019.

Beef Up Your Security and Involve Your Employees

Even if you have the most advanced firewall and security protection plan available, data and security breaches can still happen. Taking a “set it and forget it” approach to securing your business’ sensitive information can have catastrophic consequences. Your employees or IT personnel are your last line of defense against potential security threats.

According to this source, enhanced security awareness is a collaborative effort. It is important for your team to understand that a data breach negatively impacts everyone on the team. Their conversations, financial records, transactions and customer information can all become vulnerable if a security breach happens. An online security awareness course can provide your employees and IT staff with invaluable information and training to help them become aware of potential security risks they may encounter.

Backing Up Your Business

A surprising reason that many data breaches and security attacks are successful is that there are many business owners who have little or no information stored on a cloud service. This makes it impossible to restore vital business contacts, information, invoices and financial documents if the information is stolen. Professional hackers can charge outrageous sums of money to unsuspecting business owners to have the information released. It is illegal, but it happens every day. When you take the time to back up all of your sensitive information, you take the power away from cybercriminals.

Protecting Your Copyrighted Works

Protecting your intellectual property, such as patents and trademarked works, is essential to the success of your business. To help protect your copyrighted works, you should display a notice that demonstrates that your work is copyrighted and that you take infringement laws seriously. According to this source, copyright registration is in important step in protecting your rights. A professional registration service can help you register your work in case you ever need to prove that your content, projects or product ideas were stolen. Another way to protect your work, products or services is to draw up detailed contracts with potential business partners, customers, vendors or new clients.

Perform Regular Audits

In addition to performing daily security assessments, keeping operating systems and firewall protection software updated and using a secure system with approved apps and programs, you should hire a consulting firm to periodically assess the strength of your IT security team and programs. According to this source, audits, whether done by a firm or are self-done, are useful for establishing a security baseline, helping enforce security regulations and practices, and determining the real state of your security to formulate a strategy for the future. A scheduled audit can alert you to potential data leaks or security breaches that may have slipped through the cracks. These audits can also alert you to cyber attacks and help you implement new strategies and programs that will beef up your security. Audits also keep your employees abreast of potential threats and changes to security protocol. Regular audits also help your customers, clients and vendors feel safe entrusting you with their sensitive financial and personal information.

Initiate a Clear and Concise Response Plan

Even with the proper channels in place, a data breach can still occur. In the event that your business’s sensitive information becomes exposed or is leaked by hackers, implementing a speedy response and having a clear plan can mean the difference between your business coming out on top or having to shut down. A thorough response plan keeps all of your employees accountable and prepared for the necessary steps needed to remedy a security attack. You should have a detailed outline that your employees can reference to help them identify various attacks, assess the threat level and potential impact and work together to minimize the damage.

While many business owners would like to think that a data breach will not happen to their company, it is irresponsible to not have a plan in place to protect your business and its sensitive information. Managing your security software on a regular basis does not require a lot of extra time or money. In fact, taking the extra precautions in advance will actually save you if your business becomes victimized by a data breach or another form of security attack. You will be grateful that you took the time to protect your employees and clients.

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