Nine out of 10 Australian businesses employ under 20 workers, making us a nation of small businesses. While there is a multitude of positives in running a small business, there are also many pressures including managing employees, servicing customers and dealing with suppliers, which means there are a lot of plates to juggle. It’s easy then, for a small business owner whose forte isn’t tech, to see the business’ technology needs quickly become an afterthought. But, as the world we live in continues to change and evolve, every business, large or small, needs to plan for digital transformation.
Technology goes beyond providing employees access to a computer, it can help solve most business challenges – from software to manage your payroll to a cloud strategy that keeps your data safe and easy to access.
If you are struggling to get your head around what your business needs, you are not alone. A recent Deloitte article reported that 51 per cent of businesses with basic levels of digital engagement don’t understand the potential benefits of digital engagement. As we enter an era where digital transformation is key to staying one step ahead of your competitors, it’s important you have access to an advisor who can help you on every leg of your IT journey. As part of the Dell Small Business Advisor program, customers have access to a dedicated resource that helps grow the business and hit those important milestones.
Business owners cannot escape the use of technology in their business, so it’s important to understand that no IT environment is immune to the threat of cyber security. Whether you are running a legacy system, or you’ve undergone digital transformation, as attacks become more sophisticated, it’s a never-ending cycle to stay one step ahead. This makes it increasingly important to ensure you have a dedicated IT expert in your support system like a dedicated Dell Small Business Advisor.
Be aware of the security risks
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner reports on the breaches experienced by Australian businesses every quarter. Its first report revealed that 59 per cent of notifiable breaches were the result of ‘malicious or criminal attacks’. This included the loss of data saved on a computer, lost paperwork that that wasn’t stored in a secure network or cloud, or a criminal attack like phishing.
Many small business owners mistakenly believe that phishing or ransomware attacks that potentially exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems, like this year’s ‘BlueKeep’ Windows vulnerability, only happen to large enterprises. But cyber criminals don’t discriminate, and targeted attacks are a threat to everyone. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure processes are in place to stop attacks – it’s a good idea to educate your employees about current scams and how to deal with a phishing email if they receive one or, in the worse-case scenario, what to do if they are a victim of one.
Thirty-five per cent of small business owners believe their biggest security threat is human error, according to this Dell, Intel and Techworld survey. While it’s hard to eliminate the risk of your employees making a mistake, business owners can mitigate the consequences. It’s important to develop internal processes that employees can follow that will quickly identify and resolve a data breach.
Alongside internal processes, it’s prudent to invest in additional features such as email security, two-factor authentication, data encryption and cloud security. While you can’t stop your employee misplacing their phone with valuable business data stored on it, you and your Dell Small Business Advisor can ensure that this data is secure and doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
Business owners who become complacent about maintaining data security practices could face an aftermath that causes irreversible damage to their business. Not only could you face a hefty fine, you could lose the trust of customers who will move to your competitors who keep their data safe.
Digital transformation increases the risk
Businesses that don’t digitally transform will become obsolete, but those that do take on increased security risk. It’s a Catch-22 for business owners who already have a full daily ‘To Do’ list and limited resources. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 60 per cent of digital businesses will suffer a major service failure due to the inability of IT to manage digital risk.
But the reward far outweighs the risk and upgrading your technology will increase customer satisfaction, improve productively and, in all likelihood, save you money. A Dell Small Business Advisor partners with you to understand your business needs and provide you with the right solutions for success.
For more information visit Dell Small Business Central
To celebrate NSW Small Business Month 2019, the Dell Small Business team is taking part in a free event that explores cybersecurity for small business. Hosted by Sunrise’s David Koch, small business owners can hear from cyber security experts on how to protect their businesses against cyber threats. The event will take place on 16 October. Seats are limited – register for free.
Ben Jackson, General Manager, Consumer & Small Business, Dell ANZ