How long have you been running a home business?
Some individuals have been their own bosses for many years; others have just opened their own companies from home recently.
No matter where you fall in the timeline, it is important to remember that protecting your interests (namely your company’s private data and that of your customers’) is of utmost importance in today’s data-driven age just about all live in.
With that said, how do you avoid coming home to problems, most notably that of cyber-crimes and identity theft?
Are You in the Business of Data Protection?
Start by seeing where your home business may be most vulnerable to cyber-criminals.
Do you have a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan not only in place, but one that works?
You may think that as a smalltime home business owner, your brand is safe from cyber-criminals, going on the notion that they only tend to go after the bigger prizes. If that’s your thought process, think again.
Due to the fact you are a small home business owner, you in fact could be ripe for the picking.
Cyber-criminals may tend to believe that given the size of your company, you may not have invested much in the way of security system software. As a result, your business could be a sitting duck for such criminals.
Another key to observe is what guarantees has your server provider given you that they have you covered against cyber-attacks?
Being you may be low in terms of funds to play with; your home business might have opted for a server provider that is not top-notch when it comes to protecting its customers. In those cases, your data and that of your customers could be exposed to attack at any given moment.
Other Disasters Could Await
While the focus is on cyber-attacks, stop and think for a moment what would happen if a terrible storm struck your home, including flooding or worse. Would your company and customer data be thoroughly protected? In some instances, the answer to that question would be no.
If your desktop or laptop suffered irreplaceable damage from a storm, unless you have the data backed up elsewhere, all could be lost. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?
Another focus should be on how you transmit your company and customer data, especially if you have outside help assisting you with the tasks of running a home business. In many cases, home business owners will hire part-time (perhaps even some full-time) help in order to satisfy the needs of customers, especially if the business is taking off.
In these instances, make sure you are safely transmitting data from one computer to another.
The data should be encrypted, thereby making it more difficult for cyber-criminals to crack the codes.
Also make sure that any help you have outside of your home is working off of a secure server, be it their desktop or laptop. While your server at home may be perfectly fine, someone outside your network may be in a different situation. If their server is not up to snuff, their computer could easily be hacked, exposing company and/or customer data to the wrong eyes.
If your home business does fall victim to a cyber-attack, how you respond can mean the difference in retaining or altogether losing a significant portion of your customer base.
As bad as a cyber-attack is, the aftermath of it gives you a chance to lessen the blow.
Your customers who are impacted by such an attack will expect a prompt response to the problem, followed by assuring them that they will not suffer any major financial repercussions due to this. Take to contacting them immediately, letting them know that you are working on the problem and coming up with the best solution possible to remedy the matter.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a moment; would you want to be doing business with a company that is quick to act when a disaster strikes?
Working from home is a great privilege that countless business owners do on a daily basis across the country.
Doing it safely, will lessen the odds you end up coming home to a business disaster.