COVID-19 and your business: Five Online Security Tips for Small Businesses

This post was first published in November 2018, but the information may be useful to businesses affected by COVID-19. Please note that some information may not be up-to-date – you can find our latest COVID-19 guides here.

Please click here for Welsh Government’s latest COVID-19 advice for employers.

Making sure your business is secure online relies on your processes as much as the technology that you have. It’s not enough to think, “I have this technology in place, so I don’t need to worry about security any longer”.


Securing your business online is an on-going process of keeping your defences up to scratch and your team up to date with how your industry and the online environment is changing.


Here’s 5 things you can do to make sure your processes are protecting your business


Be prepared with a recovery plan

This is one of the easiest things you can do – and all it costs you is a bit of time.


The information you hold about your business and your valuable customers is critical. Take steps now to plan for all eventualities and develop a strategy that you can refer to, should the worst-case scenario happen.


It will remove the extreme stress of trying to think on your feet in a disaster situation but also means your business can keep functioning as you deal with the issue.


Ultimately, spending some time now planning, will save you a lot of time, money and disruption in the future as you will be able to respond more effectively and efficiently to a breach.


Read our handy blog on how to prepare your business for disaster recovery and write your own plan now.


Staying up to date is essential

Keep your Anti-virus software, firewalls, etc. up to date and use cloud-based software services that will automatically update. On top of this, cloud-based software applications are a great option for managing your costs. You don’t need to worry about regular software updates, it’s all done for you.


Whether it’s handled automatically or manually, it’s a good idea to check in on your defences regularly to make sure they’re still meeting your business needs.


Backup your data

The most cost-effective, secure and reliable way of making sure your business data is available 24/7 is to choose a cloud-based storage and backup solution. Not only do you get the benefit of having your information automatically stored securely but it can help to boost efficiency as staff can access document wherever they are in the world and at whatever time they need to.


Use a human firewall

A large proportion of information security breaches come from inside the business, rather than outside hacking and phishing.


In other words, it’s often an internal incident (whether accidental or otherwise) that leads to a business disaster situation – such as unintentionally clicking on a virus, inadvertently corrupting an important spreadsheet or losing a work device whilst travelling.


Ensure that you create, share and keep updated, a set of company policies and procedures that are used by all staff to help manage the security of your business and your customer data.


You may need to have specific sets of procedures for different parts of the business depending on the types of information staff are handling, or even specific training for employees who handle particularly sensitive data on a regular basis.


However you choose to do it, it’s important that all employees recognise the important role they play in keeping the business secure online.


Think about standards

As a business, you should think about ISO standards. If you’re tendering for business, ISO9001 and ISO27001 will go a long way to helping you develop a quality and information security policy that will show your customers you’re committed to delivering a quality service.


This adds another level of credibility to your business, keeping you both secure online and competitive in your industry.


To learn more about how to protect your business online, register for the free Superfast Business Wales service. We can answer your questions and help develop your tailored digital action plan.


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