When you started your small business, you were focused on your mission—getting your product or service into the hands of people who needed it most. The idea that everything you worked for could be held hostage by a cybercriminal or leaked to the dark web probably never crossed your mind.

But for thousands of small business owners, that possibility has become their reality. Cyber threats are on the rise and no one is immune, not even small businesses. As a business owner, it’s your job to protect your customers’ data from these cyber threats. Here are five ways an IT provider can help you do just that.

Why Are Small Businesses a Target for Cyberattacks in 2024?

Consider a bank robber trying to decide between targeting the JP Morgan bank location on Wall Street versus a small, local credit union. Which one would they target? The one with security guards, high-tech cameras, and advanced alarm systems, or the one with almost no security at all?

Cybercriminals think the same way—although the payout might not be as big, they can do it again and again with a lower risk of getting caught. Yet, 48% of small business owners think their website is too small to target even though it’s estimated that attacks will happen every two seconds by 2031.

And while the amount of attacks may be going down, the total cost of cyberattacks is steadily rising—the actual amount of dollars lost in 2022 compared to 2021 was 49% higher.

What Can You Do About These Threats?

While you might spend the first few years of your business doing everything on your own, it’s time to get some help. In general, cybersecurity isn’t something you can just DIY. For most small business owners, it makes sense to outsource your cybersecurity to an IT provider. Here’s how they can help protect your data.

1. Comprehensive Risk Assessments

Just like a test in school, risk assessments determine your security baseline. It’s a test of the different areas that may be vulnerable and the likelihood an attack will happen. Think of it like a health diagnosis.

With regular risk assessments, your IT provider can identify any weak spots in your network and suggest ways to strengthen them before an attack occurs. This could include implementing security protocols, updating software, or training employees on how to recognize and avoid potential threats.

2. Implementing Every Security Tool You Need

There are lots of security tools on the market. Some may be helpful for you; some might not. And you may need different levels or layers of security depending on your industry. But how do you know which tools are right for your business?

An IT provider can help assess your needs and implement the necessary tools to protect your data. This could include firewalls, anti-virus software, intrusion detection systems, and more. By having a layered security approach, you can better defend against cyberattacks.

3. Regular Monitoring and Maintenance

Just like your personal health, the health of your network needs to be regularly checked. An IT provider can monitor your systems and networks 24/7, and identify any potential threats or breaches in real-time. They can also perform regular maintenance tasks such as software updates and backups to ensure everything is running smoothly and securely.

4. Employee Training and Awareness

As the saying goes, your team is only as strong as its weakest link. The reality is, most employees aren’t properly trained on cybersecurity protocols and may unknowingly put your business at risk.

An IT provider can offer training sessions to educate your employees on how to identify potential threats, create strong passwords, and follow security protocols. This could look like monthly phishing email tests where those that fall victim to the scam have to attend a training session, or regular security awareness workshops to keep your team up to date on the latest cyber threats.

5. Incident Response and Recovery Planning

Despite your best efforts, there is always a chance that your business may fall victim to a cyberattack. In the event of an incident, an IT provider can help you develop and implement an incident response plan to minimize damage and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

They can also offer disaster recovery services to ensure all of your important data is backed up and can be restored in the event of a data breach or cyberattack. This service is invaluable when you’re faced with expensive downtime and potential data loss.

Trust Hummingbird.Tech to Keep Your Business Safe

With so much on your plate, the help of an IT provider like Hummingbird.Tech is a game-changer in protecting your business from cyber threats. We’ll work together to find your business’s weak spots, implement the necessary security tools, and provide ongoing monitoring and maintenance to keep your business safe.

Get in touch to see if our team would be a good fit and get started on securing your business’s data today. Your customers—and your bottom line—will thank you!