The U.S. is home to millions of small businesses, accounting for 55 percent of all jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Today’s small business owners deal with unique challenges, and are often faced with constraints of time, capital and human resources to adequately address problems. Understanding what land mines are most likely to be hidden on the path to success can help entrepreneurs identify cost-effective solutions before a crisis occurs.
It used to be that small business owners only had to worry that all desktop and laptop computers were equipped with the last version of anti-virus software. But today’s entrepreneurs face an entire new set of security issues in an increasingly mobile work world. With nearly all small business owners believing that mobile devices make their organizations more efficient, the problem of mobile security will continue to grow.
The problem is compounded by many workers choosing to bring their own mobile devices into the workplace, raising additional concerns that proprietary information could fall into the wrong hands. For a small business, a security breach at its most extreme could cause the company’s demise.
The solution is to secure all mobile devices used for work purposes with encryption or data wiping. This prevents thieves from accessing sensitive business data. For example, there are a number of apps available for iOS, Android and Blackberry platforms that enable users to remotely lock, wipe or locate devices, as Forbes explains. Cost of most is minimal, especially in comparison to the risk if mobile security is ignored.
The storage, access and security of a growing amount of data is becoming a big problem for small companies, according to Forbes. While large corporations face similar challenges, small businesses often find they do not have the resources for elaborate in-house data management programs.
However, the stakes are high. Data is the lifeblood of many small businesses. For some, it would be nearly impossible to recover certain records, documents or data sets in the event of a fire or other disaster. The solution for many small businesses is to store copies of pertinent documents on the cloud with services such as online backup from Mozy. Cloud storage solutions provide companies with a secure way of ensuring that important documents and data are not at risk.
Employee Tech Training
Investing in the latest technology is a significant undertaking for most small business owners. But that investment is wasted if there is not follow-through to ensure employees are comfortable using the latest software, app or equipment purchase.
Even in a small office, employees typically have a broad range of capabilities when it comes to using technology. The best project management software on the market, for example, is worthless if a number of project management team members refuse to use it because they have not been trained in how to use its features, as PC World highlights.
Tech training becomes especially important if your company does not have a full-time IT support staff. The best solution in many instances is to bring in an external trainer, an investment that should easily pay off. Alternatively, you may want to organize internal training sessions led by those most confident in the use of the new technology, and ensure that all employees review the pertinent points of any instructions provided.