Cyber security for small businesses: Why software updates are essential
January 15, 2020
Small business owners have a lot to worry about. From attracting new customers to hiring employees and managing revenue, there is a lot to stay on top of.
That’s why it’s easy to forget about something which isn’t necessarily top of mind for most business owners but is still very important: Cyber security.
And one of the best ways to keep your business cyber secure? Regularly updating the operating system software on your computers, tablets and mobile devices.
If not, you leave your business vulnerable to cyber criminals who can cost your business money.
Here’s how you can ensure you use software updates to keep your small business cyber secure.
Why software updates matter for small business
Cyber threats can be devastating for small businesses. Cyber criminals have sophisticated means of stealing everything from customer records to credit card information.
That means the consequences of cyber threats can range from being a nuisance (having to change a few passwords) to significantly harming your small business (losing money to a phishing or smishing cyber scam).
That’s where software updates come in.
Software updates on computers and other devices aren’t just useful for improving the software’s look and feel and other user experience priorities. They actually contain components that are very important for protecting your business’s cyber security.
Cyber criminals are always developing new means of stealing information from businesses. That’s why software updates often contain improvements to security based on recent viruses and attacks.
Regularly enabling software updates is a simple way to protect your computer and other devices against cyber threats.
Why it’s easy to forget about software updates
Many small businesses don’t prioritize software updates for a few reasons.
- No time: Small business owners are frequently pressed for time. Not only that, when they are working on computers or other devices, time is frequently of the essence – even waiting 10 or 15 minutes for software to update and a device to restart can seem like a million years when you have a pressing task at hand.
- Lack of awareness: Many small business owners and managers simply don’t realize that software updates play an important role in protecting their business from cyber threats.
That’s why it’s so simple to simply ignore or avoid software updates for more pressing matters.
How you can make software updates a part of your business’s routine
Like with most other good habits, regularly updating your software starts with a routine. Here’s how you can make software updates a part of the regular life of your business.
Establish an internet usage policy
A clear internet usage policy is a best practice for cyber secure small businesses. These help to establish guidelines for when your employees are using devices or technology related to your business.
The policy can cover everything from the types of websites that are acceptable for employees to browse to expectations surrounding how to set strong passwords.
This is also an opportunity to make clear – in writing – what you expect when it comes to software updates.
Educate your employees
Just as many small business owners don’t understand the importance of software updates, so too do employees not realize how software updates can help protect cyber security.
Simply by educating your employees on the importance of software updates – and cyber security more generally – you can encourage those employees to be part of the solution when it comes to keeping your business secure.
Know the threats
Cyber threats are constantly changing. By staying on top of the latest threats you can ensure you have a plan in place to protect yourself.
Software updates can help to keep your business secure against these threats.
Cyber security isn’t always necessarily the first priority for many small business owners. But if you aren’t careful, it can start to impact your other priorities.
Businesses that aren’t cyber secure leave themselves vulnerable to losing revenue, proprietary information and other important things essential to the success of their business.
That should be enough to get any business owner’s attention! Don’t leave yourself at risk – develop a plan for keeping your software updated today.
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