You’re laser-focused on running your business and that’s a good thing. But have you focused on keeping all of that hard work safe from cyber threats? If not, you could be making a fatal mistake. Whether you trust your IT needs to a company like Computer Networking Resources or want to take some steps on your own, not thinking seriously about cybersecurity could be what causes your business to fail. Here’s where so many other small businesses go wrong, too — and how you can keep your business from becoming another statistic:

1. Businesses Don’t Have a Disaster Plan

If you live near the coast, you wouldn’t wait until a warning to prepare your home for hurricane season, right? So why wait until your business is attacked by online criminals to come up with a disaster recovery and response plan? Having a plan in place now will make recovery easier.

Your plan doesn’t need to be complicated in order to work. In fact, a plan only needs to be simple, budget-friendly, and adaptable in order to be truly effective. It should also be 100% secure, and this means including tiers of fortification around IT frameworks, streamlined data management, and regular penetration testing. There are services available to help you develop such a recovery plan.

2. Business Owners aren’t Aware of Threats

Planning for recovery is key for businesses, but so is being aware of current threats. Some of the most prevalent types of attacks on businesses include ransomware, social engineering, and DDoS attempts. Ransomware has seen a lot of press lately, so you may be familiar with this. Educating yourself around the sort of tools online criminals use to target small and medium-sized businesses is critical for being a responsible business owner, so take a closer look at this list and drill down into the details.

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of learning about current threats, you can also invest in a full-service IT consulting company to take care of the hard work for you. We provide the expertise and resources you need to stay secure.

3. Owners and Staff aren’t Properly Trained

Awareness is one thing — knowing what to do with the information is another. This is also critical for ensuring your business is fully protected from online threats. Staff members or even owners who are not properly trained around cybersecurity are more likely to fall victim to a scam and leave key information and systems vulnerable as a result.

If you opt to hire an IT consultant, you can ask his professional to help provide the training you and your employees need to avoid leaving your business open to attacks. You can also look for free and low-cost training online, like this helpful one from the Small Business Administration.

4. Businesses don’t Own Up to Mistakes

Let’s say that despite learning about threats, providing the right training, and hiring a consultant, your business is successfully attacked, anyways… You then implement your recovery plan, but don’t notify affected clients and vendors about the breach… Do you think your business is still safe?

If so, you could be making another common cybersecurity mistake. It’s a costly one, too, since many states require companies to disclose data leaks and breaches to all parties involved. Failing to do so could open up your business to hefty fines and consequences.

Lack of transparency will also damage your reputation and ruin any trust you have built with customers and partners. This is true whether your state requires notifications or not. While admitting to mistakes and being honest with the public may be stressful, taking this responsible step is the best way to protect and preserve your relationships with customers.

Cybersecurity can be confusing for businesses, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to be aware of current threats and take concrete steps to prevent them from impacting your operations and profits. If you want to avoid making mistakes and make cybersecurity even easier, consider hiring CNR to handle your IT and securityGet a quote here.

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