3 tech tips to help any small business get ahead

There are plenty of tech tools small- and medium-sized businesses use to help them stay afloat and even thrive – whether they’re used for marketing, operations, customer service or productivity. But while many of these technologies help small businesses find an edge, adopting technologies without a few important precautions comes with a big risk.

Here are three tips any business should employ to help ensure they really are using technology to their advantage – and are not headed for regret.

  1. Identify risk
    Risk is part of owning a business, that’s for sure, but some risks are more devastating if things go wrong. As we adopt more online apps and internet-connected devices to stay organized and streamline our workflows, that can open the door to cybersecurity risks such as ransomware attacks.

    This is when someone clicks on a link or downloads a file that gives cyber criminals control of their network or data, who then demand money to release it. By taking a moment to assess the risks that your technology poses to your business, you might discover cracks that you didn’t realize were there.

  1. Establish safeguards
    Once you understand where your weak points are, be it staff knowledge, password protection or out-of-date software, you can set up some safeguards to protect your business from an attack. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business, cyber criminals are trying to get in everywhere they can.

    Safeguards can include anti-virus software, hardware updates, policies and procedures. There may be grants that can help you fund or finance these updates, and you may find professional advice and effective policy templates online.

  1. Plan and respond
    Not only should you employ safeguards, but businesses should also prepare for the possibility that an attack could occur, and plan for what to do if it does. This could look like backing up your data regularly, limiting access to sensitive information and training staff on safe practices online.

If you do become victim of a ransomware attack, don’t pay up. Instead, implement your plan. It should include isolating your devices from your network, wiping them and resetting them as well as any online networks and accounts. It’s also important to report the crime to your local police, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

While technology can bring risks, these steps help ensure your investment in your future is well protected. Learn more at getcybersafe.ca/ransomware

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