As the year 2022 winds to close, many businesses and would-be entrepreneurs are making plans for next year and the opportunities it will bring. If you are thinking about setting up a business next year, you should be preparing yourself for what’s ahead, and gathering knowledge about technology that might help you achieve your entrepreneurial goals.
Digital security is a huge part of that because adopting technology as a new business invites a lot of risks that you might not be prepared to handle. Here are five simple steps you can take to secure your new business’s digital presence in 2023.
1. Don’t Use Pirated Software
Using counterfeit or low-quality software as a new business is tempting, but it can be a big problem and will cost you a lot in the long run. There are serious legal consequences to piracy, and even worse, you might expose your small business to attacks by hackers and other malicious third parties.
If you’re getting software, get the best you can afford. It will pay itself off in the long run. Update your software regularly to install patches for any vulnerabilities that might exist in outdated versions.
2. Secure Your Website with SSL Certificates
A website is a must-have for any business, even if you do not sell your products or services online. It gives your customers a simple and accessible way for them to view your products, give useful feedback, and connect with your brand. To keep their information safe as they use your site, invest in SSL certificates.
SSL certificates are digital files that help encrypt user data as it is transferred over the Internet. It changes your protocol from unsafe HTTP to modern and secure HTTPS. They are a bit difficult to handle all by yourself, though, so consider investing in a good SSL certificate manager. A good certificate manager helps automate routine parts of your certificate lifecycle like renewals and makes sure your website is secure 100% of the time.
3. Keep Personal and Business Information Separate
If you are a sole proprietor, it is easy to fall into the trap of mixing business and personal information together. Smart criminals can take advantage of this, effectively killing two birds with one stone. You don’t want to make it easy for them. Create separate passwords, social media accounts, email addresses, and bank accounts for your business. This will make it less likely that your customer information will be leaked in the event of an unrelated personal data breach.
4. Create Backups of Your Business Data
What makes cyberattacks so damaging is their unexpected nature. Cybercriminals strike when you least expect them to, and if you are unprepared, you could lose a lot of money, data, or both. Thus, you should do as much as possible to ensure your business remains operational in the event of a cyberattack.
Preparing for the worst means backing up crucial information, keeping separate digital copies of transaction histories, invoices, and receipts, and avoiding being reliant on a single software or hardware platform. Should anything go wrong, you will have something to fall back on. You should also consider investing in cyber insurance to help you mitigate the financial effects of a cyberattack, should you happen to fall victim to one.
5. Enforce Strong Cybersecurity Policies Within Your Business
You should try as much as possible to start your business with the right cybersecurity policies in place—and ensure your employees are aware of them from day one. This will help build a culture of digital awareness and security that will benefit you as your business grows.
Starting Your New Business on the Right Cybersecurity Footing
Starting a new business is an exciting adventure, and if you succeed, you will be well rewarded for all your efforts. As you integrate technology into your business in 2023, make sure you are armed with a strong digital security strategy to protect you.