You’ve created your business, now what about IT?

A small business owner is doing a transaction after they implemented a secure IT system.

You’ve got a lot to deal with when you’re running your own business. Make sure protecting your digital assets isn’t an afterthought.


We want to congratulate you on knuckling down and taking the huge step of opening your own business. You’re your own boss!

Now what?

During the excitement (and effort) of starting up your own company, there's an essential aspect you may not have had the time to ponder deeply: your IT security.

Small business owners like you are often engrossed in day-to-day operations, leaving little room in your schedule to become an IT security expert. Yet, the cyber world is brimming with risks—from malware to data theft—that can target your or your employees’ unprotected devices when you least expect it.

Understand the threat landscape for small business owners

The digital threats facing small businesses are sophisticated and relentless. Malware can cripple your systems, while ransomware attacks threaten to lock you out of your own data—halting operations entirely.

Hackers are on the lookout for any valuable data they can lay their hands on, especially account passwords and your customers’ personal information. Even if you don’t store any banking information, a list of all your customers—including their email and mailing addresses—are valuable to fraudsters.

And those scammers have numerous entry points: your laptops, employees' mobile devices, even the shared wifi at your café corner. All those devices, left unprotected, can be vulnerable both to digital attacks like malware, trojans, and viruses; as well as human-centric attacks like phishing and social engineering. It may feel like a lot, but the first step is to recognize the necessity of making security a seamless part of your business without making IT professional yet another hat you wear.

All data has value when you’re running a small business

Often, small business owners operate under the misconception that they're too small for hackers to notice. But that isn’t the case; every business holds big opportunities for scammers.

Obviously, there’s value in your banking information, a list of your accounts with your suppliers, your employees’ payroll information, or maybe a saved spreadsheet of your customers’ payment information. But as we mentioned above, there’s equal value (and threat to you) from just knowing information about your customers.

For example, should a scammer gain access to your email, they could reach out to your customer base and ask for them to verify payment information in a ploy to steal their credit card number, using your name and your business to scam them.

The value of your data is immeasurable—losing it doesn't just mean a breach of information. Losing access could shut your business down for days that you can’t afford and can damage your business reputation with your consumer base.

Fortunately, safeguarding against these threats is more accessible than you think.

Your action items for small business IT security

So, what should be on your security checklist? Start with adding robust antivirus protection to every device that touches your business. Whether it’s a laptop that never leaves your side, a smartphone that an employee might use for their work email, or even the wifi network you use in your office or shop. All of these are examples of where you need to be looking to add an extra layer of security.

Malware is out there, and it’s likely you and your employees have access to an internet that hosts a myriad of threats. Implement secure and protected browsers to shield you and your employees from dangers from sketchy websites and emails containing virus attacks.

And as part of IT, you need to be sure your devices are running optimally (so you’re getting the longest life from your investments). Regular system updates keep you safe from attacks and ensure your devices are running efficiently, keeping your business lifecycle fluid.

This might feel like a lot.

It is a lot, actually. But becoming your own Chief Security Officer isn’t likely what you had in mind when you built up the nerve to start a small company. Ideally, you should be considering a solution that takes care of all of this for you, without the cost of hiring on another employee or a part-time consultant.

Want to learn more about how to tackle your small business security needs? Explore our product page for more details and find out how Norton can help you focus on what you do best—running a successful business.

Clare Stouffer
  • Clare Stouffer
  • Gen employee
Clare Stouffer, a Gen employee, is a writer and editor for the company’s blogs. She covers various topics in cybersecurity.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


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