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Steps to Consider When Moving Your Business Online in Light of COVID-19

The Coronavirus has affected most, if not all, companies in some way over the past six months. Many businesses have had to close their physical premises and boost their sales online. For the rest of us, life has now become a mix of working from home and shopping online.

Due to this dramatic change, there is an increased need for IT services and support, which is now an essential part of every business. They’re particularly important for smaller companies trying to figure out what cybersecurity measures to take or how to put together a website, as these tasks can be daunting.

If you are considering moving your business online to reduce the chances of an issue if a second wave occurs, then read on. This article will provide you with a few steps to check if your business is ready for the transition and help you figure out what cyber measures you should put in place.

Understand the New Risks You Face

Going digital will inevitably present new risks. You will be relying more on technology, such as online services, credit card processing, email, and video conferencing solutions.

In order to mitigate the risks involved in these technologies, there are a few steps you should take. Firstly, you should check if your existing technology is up to the task of managing an online business, or if you need to upgrade. For example, if you have a laptop or mobile phone which is struggling to cope with everyday activities or is at storage capacity, then you might need to upgrade.

If you want to create a professional and secure online presence, you can follow these tips from Wix. They can walk you through the steps involved so that you get it right the first time and create a website that suits your organisation perfectly.

In addition to a website, you also need to ensure that you have access to technology and facilities which can accommodate your new needs. For example, you need to ensure that you have the necessary bandwidth to handle the increase in web traffic and have access to IT support if you need it. You also need to regularly back up your data either by using online services such as Google Drive, or a portable hard drive.

Secure Your Devices

Even if your business is already online, due to the increase in web traffic, it is more than likely that your typical day to day operations will have changed. Make sure that you and your staff have devices that can access the services and data you need and ensure that these devices are secure.

This can be through the use of antivirus software, preventing staff from downloading insecure applications, keeping your IT equipment up to date, and backing up your data.

Concentrate On Cyber Security

Online security has now become an essential part of online businesses and you need to assess the state of cybersecurity of your business in this changing situation. Before you start implementing temporary solutions, consider whether the measures you have had to take due to COVID-19 will become permanent. For instance, will you expand your online business and encourage people to continue working from home?

If you are considering this, then you will need to ensure the systems are in place for your business to adapt and grow. Make sure that the technology and services you are using now are secure and ensure that your data is safe.

Search For IT Service Providers

Your business relies on a number of IT service providers, and you need to check that you are happy with the cybersecurity measures they have in place. To do this, simply search their documentation or contact their support team to find out their cloud security principles.

When talking to your service providers, make sure you focus on specific security issues such as:

Updates – It is vitally important that your internet and service providers keep their software updated and apply the latest security patches as soon as possible. Check your contracts to ensure that patching is included in the provided service you receive.

Backups – You must keep your data backed up, but just in case you don’t ask your service provider what arrangements are in place and how often they get tested. For instance, if the service provider were to suffer a ransomware attack, how would they recover your data?

Logs – Check that logs are being kept for security purposes, as this can play a crucial role in diagnosing any problems your systems face, as well as making sure that your services are running as effectively as they can.

Access – Ensuring that your data and the data which you are responsible for is adequately protected is a vital part of any business. If your data isn’t safe, then you could find that you fall foul of data protection laws. Make sure that your new IT team is trustworthy by reading reviews, and ask them about their data protection policies to ensure that none of your data goes missing on their watch.

Conclusion

Before taking steps to move your business online, be sure to take precautions to prevent you from having to fix issues down the line such as loss of data or poor cybersecurity. These steps are your essential to ensure that your business is safe, and can continue during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.


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