The digital world continues to expand - particularly for business. The proliferation of new AI tools and other tech-related wizardry means a lot of new opportunities even as old-school methods start to fade.
I'm not going to debate the pros and cons of AI in the creative world here. Instead, I'm going to be the harbinger of doom in another way: cybersecurity. I know, it's not a sexy topic. It's pretty much soething no one wants to talk about - until something happens.
Research reveals that the US has already lost a whopping $10 billion to cybercrime. Although some breaches seem inevitable (if someone REALLY wants in, they'll probably find a way), you can actually protect yourself proactively with just a few smart moves - most of which aren't terribly expensive. Here are a few recommendations:
It seems like a small thing, but most attacks and hacks can be prevented if you keep your antivirus software up to date. I've used MalwareBytes for over a decade now because it catches things before they become a threat.
It’s more than just a security measure. Think of it as an essential step that keeps you poised to repel any cyber attackers attempting to breach your "digital fortress". With antivirus software, you’re not just safeguarding your business, but giving it the strength and resilience to navigate the vast digital landscape with confidence.
When our website went down in 2022, I was grateful that my host kept backups. But when our site ended up with malware that corrupted the backups, I was screwed. I hadn't kept a clean copy of the site for myself. I ended up going through tons of old content on the Internet Archive and re-posting content that had been corrupted. That's when I upgraded to monitored hosting so that I wouldn't need to worry about backups ever again.
Safeguarding your company’s data is a must to fend off the potential havoc of a cyberattack. Creating an uncorrupted backup (and updating it regularly) is your ace in the hole, shielding against the nightmare of stolen, lost, or corrupted data. Whether you're backing up to an external drive or the cloud (or both!), the golden rule for a fail-safe backup is to store those copies in a different place. This way, you’re not putting all your eggs in one digital basket. Establishing a robust backup plan is a smart move to ensure your data stays safe and your operations keep running uninterrupted.
Bring in the professionals
As your business grows, it’s crucial to bring in professionals. Online threats are ever-evolving, and tackling them requires a specialized skill set and constant vigilance. Professional cybersecurity experts not only understand the latest trends in cyber threats but also possess the expertise to implement robust defense strategies. Hiring the right IT support is important, yet it can be pricy to just hire an on-call IT guy for your tech support needs. Outsourcing to Managed IT services like CMIT Solutions is a cost-effective way to fortify your digital defenses. With managed IT, someone else is monitoring the threats so that you don't have to!
Purchase similar web domains
When I bought my first domain name, I actually bought two. I was known back then as "Lisa M. Robbin" - long before my first marriage, I had a place in cyberspace. But it was common for folks to mis-spell my last name. So, I picked up lisamrobbin.com as well as lisamrobin.com
This step is arguably one of the smartest, cheapest ways to protect your business online. When someone else owns domains that are similar to your business, they can do ANYTHING they want with it - including drive traffic to a site that makes people THINK it's yours! Securing your digital turf by grabbing similar web domains is a savvy move to lower the risk of your customers, suppliers, or team falling for tricky links or emails from spoofed addresses. For a small business, purchasing similar domains can be a terrific investment in keeping your online space safe and sound. Plus, you know, people mis-spell things all the time. Make it easy for them to find YOU!
As your business grows, you can’t afford to overlook your cybersecurity. It’s crucial to safeguarding your data and preventing breaches. Applying these tips can help improve your cybersecurity, giving you the peace of mind to attend to other aspects of your business.
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