Technology has completely transformed the way we do business over the past couple of decades. With quick developments happening in the world of tech all the time, it can be hard to keep on top of the latest updates.
In today’s blog post, we’ll go over the many benefits of technology recommended practices around cybersecurity and cloud computing for small businesses, from making sure you stay GDPR compliant to happier, more productive staff and improved communication. This way, you can see the wide-reaching benefits of updating your technology to meet the latest standards and following best practices related to them.
Benefits of cloud computing
Storing important information and applications in the cloud is an increasingly popular option for businesses of all sizes. It allows them to access their files easily anywhere and at any time, but ease of access is far from the only benefit related to moving to the cloud.
1. Work from anywhere
Cloud computing and remote work go hand in hand. After all, cloud computing allows your home-based staff to access all the information they need from anywhere. Especially since staff who telecommute report higher levels of productivity, offering the option to work from home using cloud-based tools is an attractive one.
Additionally, since remote work is seen as such an attractive perk by many prospective employees whether they have a long commute or young kids, it can help you attract and retain the best possible team members. Using a fully cloud-based suite like Office 365 makes working from home easier for both you and your employees. It allows everyone involved in a project to see progress in real-time and collaborate seamlessly on documents whether they’re office-based or remote.
2. Keep files safe
Similarly, since cloud computing means you can access your files from anywhere, they are also safer than they would be stored only on your desktop computer. Backing up important files in a few different ways is important to make sure you don’t lose access. Storing them in the cloud should ideally be one of these methods because it keeps your files safe even if your office suffers something like a fire or you lose your computer or external hard drive.
Companies offering cloud storage are of course not immune from cybersecurity threats. However, unlike your small business, these large, often international businesses usually have access to round-the-clock expert threat protection from a dedicated cybersecurity team. It might be hard to put your important information into the hands of a third party company, but storing files with a well-known cloud storage provider still offers better protection than if you were to simply store files on your business’ computers.
3. Better communication
The lines of communication are also much clearer with cloud computing, both for remote and office-based staff. There’s no more confusion about which version of a file your colleague should have made edits to since edits can be tracked and accessed at any time, all within a single file that is stored in the cloud.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams, one of our favourite tools within the Office 365 suite, can simplify your workplace chat and emails. This helps you avoid social blunders like accidentally CC’ing the whole office into a private email. When it’s integrated into your internal communications strategy seamlessly, Microsoft Teams can even do away with internal emails completely.
4. Serve customers better and more safely with a CRM
Using a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software allows your staff to serve your sales leads and customers better. It allows them to easily see the lead or customer’s purchases and past interactions with the company easily. This, in turn, helps them serve them faster and more accurately.
Not only that, but all of this information will be safely stored in the cloud rather than disparate computer desktops. This means the information is easily available to your staff wherever they are. It also means it’s not at risk of being lost, accidentally deleted or accessible to crooks who might get a hold of your staff member’s computer in person or virtually through a cyber attack.
Benefits of cybersecurity best practices
The most obvious advantages of strong cybersecurity are around preventing various threats and minimising their effects. The risks of different cybersecurity threats are severe, from losing sensitive data to sizeable sanctions. However, avoiding these things is not all that following cybersecurity best practices can help you achieve – you’ll also be able to run your business better overall.
1. Keep cybercriminals out of your data
The primary purpose of cybersecurity is, of course, to keep unsavoury characters from accessing your files. Cybercriminals use a number of methods to gain access to your data, from phishing emails to infected files that lock down your device once they’re opened.
The people trying to access your files could be looking to sell confidential information like your employees’ login details or your customers’ financial details on the dark web to the highest bidder. Or, they might simply want to wreak havoc on a business they dislike. Alternatively, the person behind a data leak could be a disenfranchised ex-employee.
2. Stay compliant and avoid harsh penalties
Under GDPR, losing important data is not only disruptive to running your business, but it also comes with hefty penalties. If it’s determined that the leak happened because you weren’t doing enough to safeguard the data you have on your customers, the resulting fines could seriously harm the cash flow of your small business.
Working towards a Cyber Essentials certification is a great way to boost your organisation’s readiness to deal with cybersecurity threats like phishing emails and malicious links in order to stay compliant.
3. Ward against lost files with data backup
Sometimes data isn’t lost due to something as dramatic as a data leak sprung by cybercriminals. Sometimes, files are lost or rendered temporarily or permanently unavailable by things like being accidentally deleted, a power outage or a lost memory stick.
Whatever the reason is for losing an important file or folder, having a subscription to a data recovery service can help you avoid disaster and get back to work sooner. Using a recovery service like Backupify means you can regain access to your files within minutes.
The bottom line
Keeping your small business up to date with the latest technology can seem like a lot of work, but the positive effects of this stretch far and wide. To help you navigate this fast-changing landscape, we’re actively building a library of expert articles on all things cybersecurity, IT strategy and business over on our blog. We publish articles on industry changes and our recommended digital tools like TitanFltering and Ratings & Review Optimisation on a weekly basis.