Why Do Small Businesses Need Cyber Security Employees or Providers?
Customer safety and resource availability are the two main reasons small businesses need cybersecurity protection skills — whether from an in-house employee or a partner provider. In today’s digital business environment, having cybersecurity skills are not just an added bonus for small and mid-sized companies (SMBs), they’re vital. Take a look at how cybersecurity can affect your business, your stakeholders and your customers.
- Customer safety: Cybersecurity skills are crucial for gaining the trust of customers, business partners, and employees.
- Available resources (a safety net): Small businesses are equally vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks as larger enterprises — but smaller businesses often have fewer resources to help them recover from a damaging attack.
Even though a small business may not have the same level of resources as big companies, that doesn’t mean they can’t build expertise within their organization to help prevent attacks and defend against them when they do occur.
How to develop and retain cybersecurity skills
Now you know how important cybersecurity is in your business — but is it within your budget to hire the team you need? And what employee skills are needed for proper cybersecurity in your business?
Fortunately, there are free or low-cost online resources and companies that can help you create cybersecurity procedures and plans to keep your business safe. These tools and partners can train employees to become more efficient in cybersecurity skills and technologies. They can also teach all of your workers to be better at conducting tasks in a more secure manner.
Cybersecurity training tools & resources for small businesses
Cybrary: a cybersecurity and IT workforce development platform to help professionals develop security skills. Cybrary provides:
- Free cybersecurity courses
- Cybersecurity and IT video learning resources featuring subject matter experts
- Opportunities to earn security-related certificates
- Engagement tools with a community of 2.4 million industry professionals around the world
- An optional advanced program called Cybrary Insider Pro. For $299, you’d get access to hands-on learning, guided job-specific career paths, and professional mentorship
Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning): an online platform with courses and instructors for a variety of topics including cyber security skills.
- Courses work to teach employees how to help companies avoid threats and eliminate system vulnerabilities
- The program trains participants in the core concepts needed to become an IT security specialist
- Membership in the program includes 20 hours of expert-created video tutorials and a certificate upon completion
- Many public libraries offer free access to their patrons, so check with your local library about which offerings are available
- Students can preview the first course in each video in the program for free
- Beginner courses cover the basics of cryptography and cybercrime investigation and response
- More advanced courses cover practical skills for securing hardware and network data for a business
- Some of the cybersecurity topics covered within Lynda:
- How to implement anti-virus protection and firewalls and scan networks for suspicious activity
- How to plan, implement, and maintain a public key infrastructure (PKI) ecosystem
- How to plan for and minimize risk when deploying cloud services
- How to acquire and analyze data from computers or storage devices with computer forensics
Trailhead portal: A portal provided by Salesforce, offers a number of security-related training resources, tools and articles about best practices. They work to help companies train users and protect data.
- Trailhead’s popular platforms that cover cybersecurity concerns are:
- “Develop Secure Web Apps” – helps companies learn to detect and prevent common vulnerabilities in code and strengthen web apps.
- “Get Started with Network Security” – covers the fundamentals of protecting networks.
- “Secure Identity and Access Management” – describes how identity management allows companies to give the right users the right access to the right resources.
Cybersecurity training resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
The SBA Cybersecurity for Small Businesses program is an online training course that provides self-paced training exercises as an introduction to securing information in a small business.
- The course, which takes about 30 minutes to complete, has six key objectives:
- Define cybersecurity
- Explain the importance of securing information through best cybersecurity practices
- Identify types of information that should be secured
- Identify types of cyber threats
- Define risk management
- List best practices for guarding against cyber threats
- SBA also identifies additional resources to help small businesses strengthen their security posture.
- After taking the course, participants should have a good understanding of why cybersecurity is so important, and what potential threats are out there such as website tampering, data theft, denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, and malicious code and viruses.
- The program offers tips on best practices for secure use of the Internet, email, and desktop computing.
In addition to cybersecurity, SBA offers a free course in disaster recovery for small businesses. The 30-minute online video course, “Disaster Recovery: A Guide to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Programs,” is designed to provide an overview of SBA’s assistance programs, resources, tips, and regulations.
The U.S. Small Business Association agency helps SMBs in the aftermath of disasters such as hurricanes, floods, or tornados, with recovery efforts such as direct loans and management and technical assistance from experts. The guide defines the types of disaster declarations and what they mean. It also describes SBA’s disaster assistance programs and how companies can apply for assistance and access to other resources.
Protecting your data, your customers and your business
These are just a few of the affordable resources available to help SMBs bolster their cybersecurity skills. By leveraging these, smaller businesses can better protect themselves and their customers from a variety of threats and vulnerabilities.
But does your small business need cybersecurity?
The answer is a simple yes. Every business needs it. When it comes to the need for cybersecurity in your business, you should be doing all you can to protect your customers and your bottom line. If you are interested in additional programs and data protection software for peace of mind, consider CrashPlan for Small Business. Our software is affordable and scaled to help SMBs succeed and grow their businesses.