For a lot of businesses, 2020 was a tough year. The COVID-19 pandemic brought major disruptions worldwide and upended life as we knew it. This forced businesses to act fast and make big decisions quickly to ensure they survive the tough times. However, the crisis also presented an opportunity for businesses to learn several important things.

Here are a few IT lessons that can help small businesses prepare for the unexpected.

Connection and engagement will ensure your team remains productive even when the unexpected happens. When employees are unable to come into the office, you can use various IT solutions to enable them connect and collaborate virtually. Tools such as project management software, document sharing, video conferencing and scheduling tools will ensure minimal disruption to your business activities. However, you must make sure that the collaboration tools and systems you provide are secure between employees, customers and partners.

Today, cybersecurity is a top business concern. As a small business owner, you have to make sure that your computer network is protected against hackers and viruses. This way, the client data in your possession will remain private and secure. You will also prevent the loss of the valuable data that your business relies on.

Some smart security measures you can consider are physical security protection, encrypting information, multi-factor authentication, maintaining your anti-virus software and creating a Virtual Private Network (VPN). You should also back up data securely and ensure it can be retrieved when needed or in case of data loss.

If the events of 2020 are anything to go by, small businesses should prepare employees for remote work. This means supplying workers with the tools they need to do their jobs from different geographical locations. You have to ensure that remote workers do not use personal devices or access company networks in an insecure manner. This may involve providing them with company-issued laptops that come with cutting-edge security software. Alternatively, you can choose cloud-based applications that enable your staff to work safely from anywhere.

Without making sure your employees adhere to computer security best practices, your efforts may not amount to much. Your staff can pose as serious a threat to the security of your business as cyber criminals. This is because employee errors can see them fall victim to phishing attempts, ransomware, social engineering attacks and data breaches.

You should train your staff on how to avoid major security risks and recognize potential cybersecurity threats. It is also important to educate them on the measures to take in the event of such threats. Reminding them frequently of the risks and steps to mitigate them will ensure they prioritize network security.

Data breaches and data loss can expose your business to potential lawsuits. In addition to training, you should get your workers to sign acceptable use policies. These are rules and restrictions that employees must abide by in order to be provided access to the company’s IT networks. The document can reduce company liability in case of a breach by demonstrating due diligence in terms of protecting sensitive data and securing your IT network. This is particularly important when you have some of your employees working remotely.

To ensure you are fully prepared, you should consider working with an IT solutions company. At Solace IT Solutions, we provide managed IT services to help enhance efficiency and protect your business against the unexpected. Our experienced IT experts will do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on growing your business. Feel free to contact us today to learn more, or to request a free IT assessment.

Get a Free IT Assessment ►