When you’re a small-medium sized business (SMB) you might be hesitant to embrace technologies, especially when those technologies are new or seemingly costly.
Many businesses find a strategy that works for them and then drag their feet when it comes to new technology. Some just stick with what has worked in the past and hope it continues to work in the future, but when considering the speed at which technology changes, hesitation to adapt can be quite costly for a business.
The truth is a company’s ability to adapt to change and invest in technology that can help protect, grow, and organize their business not only in the marketplace but also within their own network and office infrastructure can determine their overall success.
Running an SMB often times means running a lean operation, and you might not think the budget a small business has allows for the same access to technology as larger businesses, but it does. Whether you’re looking to protect your company data, organize your business systems, streamline scheduling, customize the consumer experience, or just creating an online presence, there are many options for how technology can help protect, grow, and organize your business.
Here are 5 key tech essentials every small business needs and can also afford:
1. Commercial Grade Firewall
Going without cybersecurity for your business is not just an option. Cybercriminals are constantly on the search for collections of user data and payment info, and small businesses are a primary target. Cybercriminals hit small businesses more often than any other sized businesses mainly because of their lack of security measures to defend their business.
While nearly all small businesses will already have a router, a firewall is specifically designed as the first layer of protection to protect your network by protecting your point of entry (your gateway to the Internet). A consumer router (which is found in most households and a lot of unsecured small businesses) is not going to have the same levels of performance and security capability that a commercial grade firewall will have. If you own or work for a small business, you should absolutely have a firewall to protect the business.
2. Antivirus and Malware Protection Combo
Network security is a primary concern in today’s digital age. There are few things that can take a business down and keep it down as quickly as a cyber-attack. Protecting your business from viruses and cyber threats is paramount.
The most secure and efficient way to protect your business from harmful threats is by combining antivirus software with malware protection (we use Malwarebytes at Brea Networks). This combo protects the endpoint of your computer. So, combining these with your commercial grade firewall will allow you to sleep better at night knowing your business secure.
3. Backup Your Data DAILY
Daily data backup is one of the most important things a company can do to protect themselves from ransomware. Backing up every 15 minutes is even better.
The best defense is a good offense. Backup solutions ensure your business continues to run normally while thwarting cybercriminals and other threats. Without proper backup solutions your business is certainly at risk for a ransomware attack. It is projected that 1 business is attacked by ransomware every 14 seconds. Ransomware victims are at risk for a significant financial loss, potential loss of files, productivity loss, network modifications as well as IT and legal costs. If you’re not already backing up your data, it’s a MUST.
4. Office 365 for Email with 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)
You likely spend a good amount of time reading emails and organizing your inbox, but how much time do you spend thinking about email otherwise? There’s more to just sending and receiving emails than what you see on the surface.
If you’ve ever set up an email client, like Microsoft Outlook, you’ve seen POP3 and IMAP and likely didn’t fully comprehend what it is. Email clients like Microsoft Outlook are apps that are installed locally on devices (unlike webmail, such as Gmail, which is an online app that requires internet).
Using POP3 and IMAP will leave your server vulnerable to attacks from hackers. Using an email client such as Microsoft Office can help protect your servers from these vulnerabilities, but the kicker is pairing it with 2 Factor Authentication. Without the addition of 2 Factor Authentication even Office 365 is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
5. Outsource your IT
IT has grown tremendously and with the speed at which technology continues to grow, all businesses, no matter how small or how large NEED an outsourced IT company to either serve as their personal IT Department or to, at the very least, backup their IT Department.
Outsourcing your IT can improve business functions, save costs, and improve productivity. It’s not just all about computers, servers, networks and a bunch of technology jargon that’s way over our heads. Doing business with the right IT company can create better management of your internal resources, help organize business systems, streamline scheduling, create and manage an online presence, ensure proactive cybersecurity, and promote maximum efficiency within your organization.
Companies like Brea Networks offer preemptive maintenance, desktop and infrastructure support, cybersecurity, and optimized business continuity. Contact us today to ensure your business stays secure and productive at affordable prices and the highest level of quality and efficiency.