Three Steps To Make Your Small Business Harder To Hack

Doug Howard is CEO of Pondurance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently launched a new pilot program to help small businesses improve their cybersecurity infrastructure. As business owners everywhere face increasing cyber risks and challenges that could cripple their operations, the SBA has committed to awarding millions in grants to help entrepreneurs defend against cyberthreats.

The program should also serve as a wake-up call for small-business operators across the country, many of whom think they are simply not big enough or visible enough to be victimized by cybercriminals. This is not true. Small businesses are just as likely to be targeted by cybercriminals as large enterprises.

Of course, a lot of small-business owners do understand the threat they’re up against. But many of them don’t know where to begin when it comes to building an effective and practical cybersecurity program. If that describes you, here are three easy steps your company can take to better defend your business.

1. Prioritize your risk areas.

No organization in the world has enough money or expertise to eliminate every single cyberthreat. That’s why it’s so important, especially for small businesses, to prioritize risk areas. For example, is there a risk to human life if your business is attacked? For most small businesses, the answer is no. But if you run a small healthcare company such as a hospital, you might have internet-connected health-monitoring devices that, if tampered with, could cause direct harm to your patients. If this is the case, then those systems must be prioritized. You must protect the health and safety of your patients first and foremost.

Another priority risk, which is shared by all small businesses, is revenue risk. If cybercriminals attack your e-commerce site or your point-of-sale systems, for instance, that can devastate your business. So it’s important to focus on protecting those assets before almost anything else.

Other high-priority risks include reputational risk and regulatory risk. If you experience a breach, are you capable of taking all the necessary steps required by state and federal regulatory rules? If you…