Small businesses often operate in lean teams, with each staff member behaving as a “jack of all trades.” This attitude can be useful for acquiring customers and putting in the extra effort SMBs sometimes need, but it doesn’t work for data management and security. Cyberattacks are not only a risk to large companies like Target or Sony, but are a costly danger to small businesses as well. According to a report by the National Small Business Association, 50 percent of small businesses experienced a cyberattack in 2014, costing an average of more than $20,750.
Storing, managing and protecting sensitive company and customer data is a cumbersome process that can become even more daunting with an expanding team. With tight budgets and an often non-existent IT department, implementing a strong system becomes even more challenging. Small businesses need a storage solution that is secure, offers cloud access with local back-up abilities and is scalable (that is, robust enough to meet their current needs, but also able to grow and adapt to future demands). Here are four steps a small business should take to set up and maintain a strong, fast and adaptable file management system:
1. Identify needs and create a plan. Work with your key decision makers to determine what kind of file access and management the business needs. Does your sales team need access to documents outside of the office, or does your customer service team need to be able to review complete customer records at any given time? Identify who in the organization needs access to which data, and develop a written plan. The file management plan should include who will manage the content and be responsible for data backups and who has access to the most sensitive information. The plan will also help determine what storage hardware solutions best fit your needs.