While recessions are difficult for all companies, small businesses are often hit the hardest. To help weather the impending storm, small business owners need to consider best practices for building resiliency into their business today to ensure survival. One of the most underrated but effective ways to do so is by building a strong, efficient security and privacy program.
Today, security is a top priority for legal regulators and clients alike. Robust security and privacy streamlines innovation, ensures efficient audits, and wins deals with your potential clients. In addition, embedding security into the DNA of your company helps to not only protect you from mounting cyber risks, but helps prepare you to minimize the impact on your operations, reduce the cost of the breach, and cut the amount of time it takes to get back up and running.
The following five best practices provide an effective roadmap to building resilience and surviving a recession with strong security and privacy:
1. Automate processes and systems to reduce repetitive tasks
When it comes to security and privacy, comprehensive coverage will come from a mix of people, processes, and technology. Make sure you’ve optimized all three for the most efficient and effective program. A good place to start automating your security and privacy program is with monotonous and redundant tasks like software patching and updating. Set up automated processes that streamline these tasks so your security team can focus their efforts on more complex and higher risk duties. And remember – there’s no autopilot for good security.
2. Look for solutions that integrate with existing tools
Small to mid-sized businesses tend to take a piecemeal approach to security, which can lead to higher costs and fragmented processes. Do your due diligence and find solutions that work best with your specific company, its needs, and its existing resources. This will result in comprehensive coverage and more streamlined operations for you and your team.
3. Leverage human expertise to understand unique business requirements, and fast-track programs
While security, privacy, and compliance are necessary, they’re also tedious and can feel daunting to take on. Accessing support from experts who know what to look for and have the advantage of experience to identify your company’s unique security and privacy needs can cut down on the time, effort, and costs of starting from scratch on your own.
4. Maximize investments with solutions that meet more than one framework requirement
Small businesses and startups are constantly growing and changing. As you do, different security and privacy compliance frameworks and requirements will come in and out of scope for your company. Your security and privacy program can be your greatest tool for organizational growth or it can be the thing that stops your business in its tracks. Invest in solutions that can grow, scale, and evolve with your company to enable and drive business.
5. Foster an Information Security Culture
To support a robust security and privacy framework, it is also essential to cultivate an information security culture, embedding security in every part of your organization. Well-trained, cyber aware employees are the frontline of defence against cyberattacks and foundational to keeping critical data safe. Provide comprehensive security training, accessible and informative resources, and positive feedback for employing good security practices to ensure employees are empowered to act when the moment arises.
It can be overwhelming for small businesses to identify what to prioritize as they face disruptions to the business, and a recession is no exception. Implementing a strong security and privacy program, bolstered by well trained employees, will build the essential business resiliency your company needs to not only weather the inevitable rising tides of change, but thrive among your competition for years to come.