Protecting sensitive company information should be a top priority for any business, but it’s particularly critical for small online businesses that might be susceptible to hacking and other cybersecurity threats. Vigilance is the key, in terms of both your day-to-day operations and implementing electronic security countermeasures designed to protect your systems.
At Gouchev Law, we specialize in providing legal services for startups, including advising on the best ways to protect your business. While no system is guaranteed to be foolproof against outside threats that are determined to get in, there are a number of safety measures you should take to ensure that your systems and data are as secure as possible.
Best Practices for All Businesses
There are several practices aimed at protecting your business that should be standard for all companies. These include the use of secure passwords and Wi-Fi networks, secure servers, and data encryption, as well as software like antivirus, anti-spam, and firewall programs. It’s a given that all default usernames and passwords that come with new programs should be changed. Security updates should be routinely installed. On top of all these measures, it’s important to thoroughly train your employees regarding your security policies and procedures, as well as proper email and Internet use.
Handling Online Payments
Running an online business necessarily means that you’ll be handling online payments, which raises some important security issues. Most credit card companies require businesses to use data encryption software that’s designed to protect sensitive customer information. If complying with encryption requirements seems daunting, an attractive alternative for many small businesses is to outsource payment processing to reputable vendors like PayPal. These services can save you both money and stress, and take the burden of complying with encryption standards off your shoulders.
Be Serious About Cybersecurity
It’s tempting for small businesses to believe that they’re not big or important enough for hackers to target. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hackers are increasingly turning their attention to smaller companies, because larger corporations have begun to take serious measures to step up their cybersecurity. Hackers are looking for the easiest targets, regardless of their size. Don’t be lulled into thinking you’re safe just because you’re a small business. Cybersecurity should be a top priority for any online business.
Mobility is an essential part of business these days. However, while it’s necessary, the use of personal phones and mobile devices for work can open your business to additional security risks. If you plan to allow your employees to use their personal devices for business purposes, you need to be sure you have security policies in place, including requirements that devices be password-protected to prevent outside access to confidential data in the event that devices are lost or stolen.
Limit Access to Sensitive Information
It may sound like common sense, but when it comes to sensitive information, access should be limited to only your top players or those who truly need it to perform their jobs. This is especially true of vendors and third parties who are doing work for you – access for these entities should be limited to only the precise data or information they need to perform their specified tasks. When it comes to granting remote access, whether for employees or third parties, additional security steps beyond simple usernames and passwords should be required.
Of course, these suggestions are just the beginning. There are several steps you can take to ensure the security of your online business. Because no two businesses are alike, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to cybersecurity.
Legal Guidance In Building Your Business
At The Gouchev Law Firm in New York, we work with businesses of all sizes, specializing in legal services for startups and franchise businesses. Call us at (212) 537-9209 or schedule a free strategy session today to see what The Gouchev Law Firm can do for your business.