This article was updated on September 16, 2018.
Some of the most damaging small business security problems are the ones you don't see coming. After all, you need to be aware of a risk in order to take the necessary steps to guard against it.
Here are five of the most commonly overlooked security risks for small business owners:
1. Data Breaches
In the unfortunate scenario that you fall victim to a data breach, hackers will be able to gain access to your organization's confidential information. As of late, most news stories concerning data breaches tend to revolve around larger companies. However, small businesses are also a popular target, especially because they tend to have less robust IT support.
To help avoid a breach, you should install the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software on all corporate devices, set up a company firewall and train your employees to avoid suspicious emails and websites.
2. Employee Theft
Unfortunately, when it comes to theft, you need to be concerned with your own employees as well as shoplifters and burglars. In fact, as Entrepreneur reports, the National Federation of Independent Business found that an employee is 15 times more likely than a non-employee to steal from an employer.
As a best practice, you should complete a full background and reference check on everyone you hire. It's also a good idea to run spot inspections of deliveries and cash registers, as well as surprise audits of your financial accounts. Your employees will be less likely to steal if they know you are vigilant.
3. Stolen Electronics Containing Corporate Information
Your computers and other electronics are both valuable and easy to transport: a perfect combination for thieves. To help prevent theft, you should attach cable locks to all your computers. You should also install anti-theft software on all devices that can remotely wipe the drive clean on command. This will help to prevent thieves from being able to access your business data.
4. A Former Employee's Knowledge of Your Strategy
If your employees deal with any company secrets, you need to protect that information. After all, you don't want your team to be able to share your confidential plans and strategies with competitors. To help prevent this scenario, require all employees to sign a confidentiality agreement, and include this in your employee handbook.
5. A Hijacked Domain Name
One way that cybercriminals may try to attack you is by taking over your domain name, seizing control of your website, or hacking into your hosting account to redirect your web traffic to malicious sites. Others will be mindful of when your domain expires so they have the opportunity to swoop in and buy the name for themselves. As such, you should track your renewal dates closely. You should also keep your contact information up-to-date with the hosting company so they can contact you to recover your site if a hacker seizes control.
Don't let your company become another cautionary tale. By preparing for these small business security problems, you can help to prevent a slew of issues down the line.