Artificial intelligence for Small Businesses – Transformation Guide in 2021

SNEHA HULL | July 9, 2021

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The effect of COVID-19, the pandemic nationwide, was inevitable and became a catalyst for every business's digital transformation, irrespective of a large, small, or medium-sized business. 2020 saw a boom in digital transformation and escalated demand for artificial intelligence (AI). A few years back, artificial intelligence for small businesses was just a buzzword for owners, and today it is a new reality of our day-to-day life. Many companies have recognized the extensive benefits of AI. As the growing power of AI for small business owners has been considered, they have integrated them to achieve their goals.

Artificial intelligence, also called machine learning, offers small businesses the opportunity to become profitable, efficient, and effective. With time and evolution in technology, AI delivers results and has become affordable for small businesses. The unprecedented nature of the pandemic crisis brought in a set of new challenges and forced small companies to change and improvise their business strategies. This crisis led AI and machine learning to play a substantial role in various aspects of businesses.

According to statistics, the artificial intelligence industry will be worth $190 billion by 2025, with global spending on AI systems already reaching $57 billion by 2021. The machine learning and deep learning segment accounted for nearly 65% of the market in 2019.

According to ReportCrux Market Research, the global demand for artificial intelligence in the IoT market estimated to be around $ 2.64 billion in 2019, revenues are expected to be around $ 15.72 billion by the end of 2027, representing a 25.0% CAGR from 2020 to 2027.

Moving forward, before you hit the core topic of this blog, here are few additional aspects you need to know about AI and small businesses.

AI and small businesses

Today AI is the new headline of every business news and has become a prevalent technology adapted by almost every industry. However, before delving into the implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses, let me throw some light on what artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are.

AI is creating computer systems capable of performing tasks that generally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation.

Machine learning is defined as “an artificial intelligence application that allows systems to learn and improve based on experience without being programmed automatically.”

AI and machine learning have become a mainstay of the new business world. Yet, as per the common misconception, this technology is still considered for bigger businesses with big budget to spend. However, as technology advances, artificial intelligence for small businesses has become more affordable, making it an industry reality for them as well.

According to the 2018 Vistage survey on the role of AI for small businesses, 13.6% of small-to-medium companies (SMBs) are currently using AI technologies to improve business operations and customer engagement. In addition, according to another survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses, 29.5% of CEOs support AI technology.

Artificial intelligence has gained trust from few big names such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

AI and deep machine learning can be implemented through AI tools and AI software across different parts of business operations. AI tools help streamline all the processes of the business, thus transform the industry. AI tools for small companies benefit in various ways, including helping to improve sales and marketing efforts, improving recruitment and HR activities, and automating customer service and communications.

Here is how artificial intelligence (AI) can help your small businesses improve your performance efficiency.

Top 5 artificial intelligence recommendations for small businesses in 2021


AI-Infused CRM

Since the digital approach towards business operations, machine learning and artificial intelligence for small business operations are changing. However, it necessitates a well-planned marketing strategy for small businesses to maintain a personal touch in their approach. As a result, customer-relationship management (CRM) systems play an essential role in gathering customer data across various omni-channels such as email, social media platforms, and phone. This customer data aids in the improvement and automation of the sales process.

HubSpot CRM and Salesforce have incorporated AI into their technology; these AI-infused CRM for small businesses can help their owners in analyzing customer feedback. As a result, marketing and lead generation activities will be adjusted based on that information.

AI-infused CRMs not only improve lead generation results, but they have also begun to demonstrate how AI can be used to acquire marketing and sales-relevant insights, as well as to improve the customer acquisition process.


Effortless data-driven predictions and decision-making

Data plays a key role for businesses in the decision-making process. The data-driven approach helps to improve decisions, but for this, the companies need to recognize and adapt artificial intelligence (AI) into their workflow. Data holds the insight that enables better decisions, integration of AI and machine learning in workflow validates effortless data-driven predictions and more robust decision making for further actions.

The question is, how does AI help in the decision-making process based on data? Here is the solution; firstly, AI examines massive amounts of data and then provides insights to business owners, who make decisions based on this information. Then, do you see how artificial intelligence for small businesses in workflow simplifies decision-making and makes data-driven predictions with ease.


Application of artificial intelligence (AI) in human resource

The human resource was the most unexpected department into which artificial intelligence (AI) crept. Effective implementation of AI tools in human resources helps to streamline the hiring and onboarding process. Furthermore, it is beneficial to obtain employee feedback on how HR can improve the hiring process.

AI tools for small businesses offer their marketing teams to handle repetitive and tedious tasks like data entry, cleaning up extensive data, and testing sales campaigns' efficiency. In addition, artificial intelligence for small businesses empowers them to optimize their staff output.


AI-powered customer service

The big players in online retail are no longer the only ones. Small and medium-sized businesses are also gradually becoming a significant part of selling their products or services on an online portal. In the form of conversational platforms such as chatbots, IVRs, and visual bots, AI can enable proactive customer self-service. First, however, it is necessary to develop personalized customer service for their satisfaction. This can be done with the help of integration of the most used AI-powered chatbots.

Many small business owners are investing in this process to provide customer communication and service. Chatbots use natural language (NLP) processing technology of the machine learning tool.
Since the introduction of deep learning in AI, it has become a need of an hour to deliver better results to customers, as approximately 30% of all online retail transactions are made on a mobile phone. Most small businesses are utilizing AI to provide customers with first-hand product experience.

According to Gartner, “46% of SMBs (surveyed) are currently using or plan to use a chatbot within the next two years.” Another 21% of the small and medium-sized businesses polled were evaluating chatbots for use, according to the study. Chatbots is like a sales and customer rep working 24/7 for you.

Among the many artificial intelligence for small businesses available, this relieves stress and allows you to devote your time to more critical tasks. For example, with AI-powered customer service, you can simplify many tasks, facilitate customer communication and customer experience.


Cybersecurity

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most businesses turned online, giving rise to online data storage by companies both big and small. Thus, exposing them to new cyber threats to business and consumer data, which are called cyber-attacks. One of the most talked-about cyber-attacks in 2019 is ‘Ransomware,’ a form of malicious software that is often deployed via social engineering tactics.

According to the survey, ransomware attacks increased 350% globally in 2018, and ransomware attacks are expected to cost $6 trillion per year by 2021.

For small businesses with a minimal budget to spend on cybersecurity or sudden ransom, such attacks can be devastating. According to recent reports, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months. But luckily, cybersecurity powered by AI may provide some relief from these attacks. AI-powered cybersecurity programs look for unusual activity or cyber threats detected and can stop the attacks or raise alerts earlier.

You can revitalize and empower your small business by employing artificial intelligence for small businesses to meticulously maintain an account database, stay in touch with customers, or protect your company from hackers.

AI is the future of businesses

In the future, AI can transform how businesses interact with customers, compete with one another, and grow in the market. On the other hand, the pandemic served as a catalyst for businesses to embrace the business benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, what would typically take years to implement on a large scale was completed in a matter of weeks and months. According to survey by Salesforce research, 51% of customers say their expectations of companies are now being influenced by AI.

According to a report, the global artificial intelligence (AI) market was worth 28.42 billion USD in 2019. According to the same report, the AI market will be worth 99.98 billion USD by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 34.86%.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses help their owners reduce manual work and increase productivity with little effort and in a short period.

FAQs

Can small businesses use AI?

Yes, small businesses can use AI and need an hour to implement it in their process. Small business owners can use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the first-hand experience of their products or services to their customers. AI helps small businesses to handle repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease.

How can small businesses benefit from AI?

Implementation of AI in a small business can help to improve sales and marketing, streamline HR tasks, automate customer communication, provide cybersecurity from unpredictable threats, etc. Thus, artificial intelligence for small businesses can completely transform their position in the market.

How is AI implemented in small businesses?

AI technology can be implemented in small businesses using various AI-based tools, applications, or software.


Spotlight

Artificial Intelligence In Medicine

Artificial Intelligence In Medicine AIM, a software engineering firm, is focused on the design, development and deployment of information systems for the healthcare industry with a focus on cancer control.

OTHER ARTICLES
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Small Business Adaptations Are Here to Last Longer – Post-Covid

Article | November 26, 2021

Small businesses are a critical component of the US commercial sector, employing about half of the US workforce. However, pandemic has struck the world devastating small enterprises. Due to the pandemic's rapid indignation, many small companies were forced to close their doors. "The small businesses continue to be big contributors to the US economy, while their contribution has grown at a slower rate than that of large businesses, small businesses continue to be at the forefront of driving innovation, jobs and economic growth." - Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy Major L. Clark The coronavirus altered the way businesses work and presented several challenges to small business owners. As a result, they had to shut down their businesses owing to the downturn. However, few stood firm and continued their business operation, adapting to a new norm of business culture. The pandemic compelled businesses to embrace digital transformation and digital technologies; everything moved digital, from commerce to education, from medical consultation to work. Covid paved the path for new business trends and operating methodologies that were previously unavailable to small firms. Small enterprises must adapt to new modes of operation and build adaptable business models. The pandemic is here to stay, and we should be prepared to live alongside it while maintaining a regular existence. Thus, a few adaptations are here to stay, and small businesses must be prepared to coexist with them. Adaptations To Last Post-Covid Embracing The Digital Transformation Throughout COVID-19, numerous small company owners smoothly accepted and implemented digital transformation in their operations. They moved their whole operation online, from promotion to sales. They prioritized data security, offered their products through eCommerce platforms, accepted digital and encrypted payments, incorporated innovative technology into their operations and decision-making, and launched AI-based customer care tools. The idea of turning digital was challenging for small businesses, but the coronavirus compelled them to accept and act intelligently. Embracing technology was critical to small businesses surviving and remaining anchored during the pandemic crisis. Adapted digital shifts enable small businesses to grow digitally and strengthen themselves while also expanding their reach. As a result, businesses that are digitally driven are sure to endure longer. Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, added 1900 outlets and had a 7% unit increase in a single year. The business achieved the objective by utilizing Deep Brew, an artificial intelligence-based application. The AI analyzed statistics such as population, traffic, income levels, and the presence of rivals, among other things. The gathering of such data aided the business in forecasting sales, earnings, and other economic performance indicators. Collaborative And Partnership The collaboration proved to be a gift in disguise for small firms in the aftermath of the pandemic. Small companies gained access to a much larger audience through partnership, which was critical for survival during the crisis. The pandemic taught small company owners the value of teamwork and partnership in ensuring the business's stability and survival. Collaboration with influential organizations expands the market and provides exposure to prospective clients. In addition, it contributes to brand reach while enhancing brand credibility. Collaboration solves financial problems, helps you save money, enables network growth, higher profits. Hybrid Business Models Many organizations have transitioned from traditional or linear business models to hybrid business models due to disruptive Fintech players, technological advancements, and changing customer behavior. A hybrid business model combines classic and non-traditional product sales tactics. Additionally, the hybrid business model is referred to as "multichannel commerce," "bricks-and-clicks," or "clicks-and-mortar." A hybrid company model represents a novel path to success. This model uses software, cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, hardware, and a combination of conventional and non-traditional services to operate the business. Extensive preparation and analysis are required to iron out the wrinkles of large-scale implementation of the hybrid business model. A hybrid business model brings in several advantages such as: Generates leads Increases ROI New sources of revenue New means of communication and collaboration It contributes to meeting customer requirements and propelling us forward into the digital future. The hybrid company model is optimal since it enables you to make the best of everything and produces the highest quality product. eCommerce's New Trends During the pandemic, the eCommerce business was highly active. Everyone went to the internet to provide their services; everything from food to personal necessities was available online. As a result, the already-crowded eCommerce industry expanded by up to 44%. Several eCommerce trends garnered prominence during the pandemic, including omnichannel strategy, voice search, voice shopping, mobile commerce, green consumerism, drone delivery, leveraging augmented reality to build virtual changing rooms, and artificial intelligence. Additionally, these patterns will persist post-pandemic, owing to the popularity of eCommerce among both consumers and company owners. eCommerce is one such slow progression that exploded in popularity after the financial crisis and is here to stay. Frequently Asked Questions: How has the pandemic affected small businesses? The pandemic had a profound effect on business, and as a result, many small firms were forced to close their doors permanently. In addition, small company owners were forced to respond to the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19 by adopting new business practices. How has technology helped small businesses grow? Technology was critical in helping small businesses weather the recession. Small company entrepreneurs may now communicate with their clients using digital channels such as email, blogs, and social media. The emergence of the internet world and new technology has aided in the growth of several small enterprises. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How has the pandemic affected small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The pandemic had a profound effect on business, and as a result, many small firms were forced to close their doors permanently. In addition, small company owners were forced to respond to the economic upheaval caused by COVID-19 by adopting new business practices." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How has technology helped small businesses grow?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Technology was critical in helping small businesses weather the recession. Small company entrepreneurs may now communicate with their clients using digital channels such as email, blogs, and social media. The emergence of the internet world and new technology has aided in the growth of several small enterprises." } }] }

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FINANCE

Small Business Technology - Key Investment Areas

Article | November 25, 2021

Today's business environment is highly uncertain and has a strong inclination towards embracing technology shift. Small business owners are also gradually heading towards the same path. Therefore, considering the future scenario and business prospects, focusing on small business technology investment has become imperative. On the other hand, many small business owners do not have the luxury of investing in technology without a strategy. They cannot take a trial-and-error approach due to their limited budget, resources, and unpredictability of the business climate. However, investments in technology for small businesses play a crucial role, particularly in today's business world. However, the tech needs of a small enterprise are limited, but a few essential elements of technology should be implemented. "We've moved from digital products and infrastructure to digital distribution and web strategy to now into more holistic transformations that clearly are based on mobile, social media, digitization and the power of analytics and we think it's really a new era requiring new strategies." – Saul Berman, Chief Strategist, VP & Global Digital Business Strategy Practice Leader for IBM Global Business Services Key Areas of Investments in Small Business Technology That Cannot Be Neglected Focus Cloud Applications Cloud apps are accessed via a browser and are available on both desktop and mobile devices., On the other hand, cloud computing has existed in the business sector for an extended time but has been underutilized by small businesses owing to budget constraints. However, cloud computing costs have decreased considerably over time, to the point that small business owners may now use this technology. Gartner's study indicates that up to 60% of business owners would rely on the cloud to hold data by 2022, nearly double the percentage in 2018. Cloud computing enables businesses to access data and apps from any location, time, and mobile device, all at a fair cost. Cloud technology enables small businesses to easily access data on the go, enabling them to be more competitive on a global scale. Cloud computing enables various cloud-based services, including cloud storage, cloud backup, and cloud hosting. Cloud computing has several advantages, including increased flexibility and scalability, ease of data recovery, increased data security, and cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, small business tech needs cloud computing applications for seamless business operations in the competitive business world. Must-Have: AI, Machine Learning, And Analytics Often, small companies believe that AI applications, machine learning, and analytics are beyond reach, resulting in minimal investment in technology. However, it is no longer an issue since commercial software solutions incorporate new technologies that enable you to do more with your data. Analytics provides insight into your company's performance, customer experience, risk identification and mitigation, and market trends. In comparison, machine learning enables the service to be more personalized through collecting statistical data and extensive data using AI. Despite the pandemic, researchers expect worldwide AI software revenues to reach $100 billion by 2025. (Deloitte) Here is an amazing real-world corporate example. An early adopter of machine learning, 1-800-Flowers, unveiled 'Gifts When You Need' (GWYN), an IBM AI helper. It enabled GWYN to adapt presents to the chosen occasion by gathering information through interaction. As a result, customers received customized service and knowledge while purchasing from home. This raised the number of new clients while also broadening the demographic reach. In addition, personalized product suggestions enhanced conversions through machine learning. Trending VR and AR Technology Post-covid, virtual and augmented reality technologies will play a significant role. With the advancement of technology, the viewpoint on the corporate environment and ecosystem will shift. The benefits and applications of virtual reality and augmented reality technology in business come in various forms, including customer experience, staff training, and product creation. The application of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies enhances client experiences and contributes to the quality and speed of manual job operations. Given that AR and VR are effective tools for growing sales and income, it's easy to see why small business technology investment is critical. AR and VR are altering both online and physical commerce in dramatic ways. As a result, this technology has had a significant influence on the eCommerce and retail industries. According to Statista 2021, the AR market size is currently $12 billion. (Statista, 2021) As per AR Insider, by 2023, AR users are estimated to reach 2.4 billion. (AR Insider, 2021) Here is one interesting example of the use of this technology. The Nike app enabled users to scan their feet and get accurate sizing recommendations. As a result, online shoppers were no more reluctant and afraid to mistake the size and safely buy shoes online. This feature was handy, primarily due to the pandemic crisis where in-store shopping was declining. Mobile Technology a New Necessity The substantial influence of mobile technology has increased significantly over the previous 18 months due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, mobile technology is no longer a buzzword for small company owners. Due to the epidemic, many small company owners resorted to digital solutions. Mobile technology is not restricted to smartphones, wearables, or contactless payments; computers and GPS devices may also be equipped. Furthermore, mobile technology comes in various forms, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, network services such as 4G or 5G, and VPNs (virtual private networks). In the absence of genuine work mobility, supporting employees' mobile devices for work via a BYOD or CYOD program is a prudent investment. FAQs: Q. How do small business owners use technology to improve their business? A. Small businesses can use technology in multiple different ways. For instance, they can use technology to connect with their customers, communicate with their employees, sell their products or services, better coordinate between the employees, simplify manual work, and many more. Q. How much do small businesses spend on technology? A. Small businesses should acknowledge a few technologies in their business operations. Below are the mentioned requisites: Cloud computing Mobile applications HR software Drones Emails Data Security Q. What are the latest business technologies? A. The latest and trendy technologies that are in widespread use in the business world are mentioned below: Internet of things (IoT) Virtual & augmented reality Artificial intelligence Mobile technology Blockchain 3d printing Drones Robotics & automation { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do small business owners use technology to improve their business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Small businesses can use technology in multiple different ways. For instance, they can use technology to connect with their customers, communicate with their employees, sell their products or services, better coordinate between the employees, simplify manual work, and many more." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How much do small businesses spend on technology?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Small businesses should acknowledge a few technologies in their business operations. Below are the mentioned requisites: Cloud computing Mobile applications HR software Drones Emails Data Security" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the latest business technologies?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The latest and trendy technologies that are in widespread use in the business world are mentioned below: Internet of things (IoT) Virtual & augmented reality Artificial intelligence Mobile technology Blockchain 3d printing Robotics & automation Drones" } }] }

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Fetch Inbound Marketing Benefits for Small Businesses – 2022

Article | November 16, 2021

Are you a small business owner and still stuck with an expensive form of traditional marketing? Don't be; here is one of the effective solutions for your dilemma ‘inbound marketing.’ So now the question arises - what is inbound marketing? How can small businesses fetch inbound marketing benefits? Inbound marketing, according to Miles Anthony Smith, is the practice of drawing customers to your company. Can accomplish this via content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and other strategies. Unfortunately, traditional marketing techniques have been deemed "disruptive" and are no longer employed. In addition, traditional marketing has several problems, including high costs, difficulty in maintaining, and difficulty attracting consumers and generating leads. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing generates 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing. "The effectiveness of inbound marketing relies heavily on the ability to attract leads at all levels of the sales cycle" — Natalie Davis. Most businesses utilize the power of inbound marketing since it develops connections and generates high-quality leads without requiring a significant marketing expenditure. Improved technology has increased the importance of inbound marketing even more. Unlike traditional marketing, inbound marketing encourages people to contact you for your products and services. Various inbound marketing platforms help small businesses with inbound marketing strategy and tools, such as: Marketing automation platforms CRM platforms Email marketing platforms Social media management Website analysis CRYO Adopted Inbound Marketing CRYO, a firm located in Dubai, is a specialist in cryotherapy for the healthcare industry. They give treatment on five continents via corporate-owned and franchised locations. CRYO adopted inbound marketing in 2016 for more focused and data-driven approach to pitch to prospective clients. However, as a digital marketing business, prior to adopting inbound marketing they lacked an end-to-end solution. They observed a significant increase in their company KPIs after implementing inbound marketing. 146% increase in revenue 44% increase in website traffic 128% increase in leads Benefits Of Inbound Marketing Efficient Than Traditional Marketing Inbound marketing, in contrast to typical advertising approaches, targets the appropriate clients who are already interested. According to invespcro, a professionally implemented inbound marketing approach converts leads ten times faster than typical outbound marketing methods. "If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing."- Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva. Here are a few more inbound marketing benefits; it is more responsive than most traditional marketing techniques and increases website traffic. In the age of digitization, inbound marketing platforms are critical for achieving the most remarkable results. Cost-Effective Than Other Forms of Advertising Inbound marketing strategy is unmatched when it comes to cost-effectiveness. This is because inbound marketing focuses on enticing prospective consumers; by doing so, you save time and money by avoiding uninterested people in your products or services. According to Invespcro, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and triples lead generation. Inbound marketing helps marketers to get a greater return on investment and create more leads on a shoestring budget. The most significant inbound marketing benefit that this technique may give small business owners is cost-effectiveness. Simultaneously, an inbound marketing strategy has better value for your business as well. Long-Term Investment Inbound marketing aims to build a relationship with customers that leads to long-term investment. Assume you have a popular video/blog on a social media network such as Facebook. Your followers will see your posted content and respond with likes, comments, and shares. This manner, your material reaches a bigger audience and retains its visibility for an extended period. As a result, traffic will blossom and expand over time. Unlike other forms of marketing and promotion, inbound marketing does not have a time limit for attracting visitors to your website, thus the long-term investment. As a result, it is one of the most valuable inbound marketing benefits for small businesses with restricted marketing budgets. Builds Brand Awareness and Loyalty In today's society, the majority of purchases begin with an internet search. Therefore, if you have an online presence and are highly active on search's social media platforms, you have a good chance of increasing brand recognition. Interacting with prospective consumers develops their trust and increases the likelihood of choosing your brand when making purchases. Therefore, attract, engage, and delight are the three pillars of the inbound technique. When inbound marketing is done correctly, it fosters consumer loyalty and improves your brand's impression. Final Thought Inbound Marketing is here to stay and is the best marketing strategy for small businesses. Looking at the above-mentioned inbound marketing benefits, you can figure out the tremendous value it holds in marketing. It is vital to have content of high quality and targeted towards the right audience. If you are a small business owner and are interested in a more cost-effective marketing method, we encourage you to implement an inbound marketing strategy. It is not easy as it sounds; it takes time, money, practice, and lastly, a lot of effort to understand your customers. But it is worth all the endeavors.\ FAQs: What are the examples of inbound marketing? Here few examples of trending inbound marketing: Viral videos Blogs Social media campaigns Webinars Infographics Ebooks Whitepaper Podcast What are inbound marketing strategies for start-ups? Below are listed some inbound marketing strategies that start-ups can take advantage of. Create and share free content Write compelling headlines Leverage blogs to the fullest Create an email course Have compelling landing pages Invest in influencer marketing Sprinkle some SEO magic { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the examples of inbound marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here few examples of trending inbound marketing: Viral videos Blogs Social media campaigns Webinars Infographics Ebooks Whitepaper Podcast" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are inbound marketing strategies for start-ups?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Below are listed some inbound marketing strategies that start-ups can take advantage of. Create and share free content Write compelling headlines Leverage blogs to the fullest Create an email course Have compelling landing pages Invest in influencer marketing Sprinkle some SEO magic" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the typical benefits of inbound marketing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Inbound marketing provides many benefits; below are a few listed ones: Efficient than traditional marketing Cost-effective than other forms of advertising Long-term investment Builds brand awareness and loyalty Reach new markets and audiences Better lead generation Boosts ROI" } }] }

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TECHNOLOGY

Small Business Cybersecurity Best Practices - Now Is the Time to Explore Them

Article | November 15, 2021

As the online world gets popular, cybersecurity is a hot topic for discussion. In today's B2B industry, the new work trend of working from any location has supplanted the traditional working approach. However, fewer security procedures have raised the cybersecurity risk for all organizations, particularly small businesses. As a result, small business data is highly vulnerable to such cyber-attacks. As stated by Brand Essence Research, the worldwide cybersecurity industry will reach $403 billion by 2027, growing at a 12.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). For every Cybersecurity Magazine, small and medium-sized enterprises account for 43% data breaches. “As cybersecurity leaders, we have to create our message of influence because security is a culture, and you need the business to take place and be part of that security culture.” - Britney Hommertzheim, Director, Information Security, AMC Theatres, at SecureWorld Kansas City Here are the top cybersecurity challenges that small businesses face and need to be considered while setting cybersecurity best practices for small businesses. The business relies on several manuals and informal processes for cybersecurity The business struggles to handle the complexity of numerous disconnected cybersecurity technologies The business lacks the skills necessary to cope with a current type of cybersecurity attack Managers lack an understanding of or commitment to good cybersecurity No employee is technically trained, and the firm provides no cybersecurity training to its employees While small business owners have successfully adapted to new work processes, they do encounter certain obstacles regularly. This blog highlights a few cybersecurity best practices that your small business may adopt. But before that, let's have a quick glance at a few of the cyber security threats faced in the recent past. Cyber Security Threats in Small Businesses Emotet: Emotet is one of the most damaging and expensive malwares available. It is a sophisticated, modular banking Trojan mainly used to download or dump other financial Trojans. SMS phishing: SMS phishing has become one of the most prominent trends in the world of small business cyber security. Due to the evolution of the media, phishing attempts are now distributed using brief text messages rather than email. Sophisticated ransomware attacks: Complex Ransomware assaults occurred because of the introduction of new, sophisticated types of malware that were a step above anything previously observed. Hence, small organizations should consider using an effective cloud backup solution to protect against data loss. Deepfake videos: Deepfake videos have recently emerged as a significant cyber security concern to small enterprises. These films are designed to dupe company owners into disclosing vital information. Spoof accounts: Spoof accounts is another sort of danger that has developed in recent years. The attacker created a plausible Facebook profile and befriended the employees, using this relationship to collect critical, sensitive, and valuable information from them. It's critical to review your small business's existing cybersecurity best practices. Thus, the following is a list of the top five cybersecurity solutions for small businesses. Top 3 Small Business Cyber Security Practices Strong Password and Authentication Password attacks were the most prevalent type of cyber-attack seen during COVID-19. The attack occurred as a result of insecure passwords and login credentials. Therefore, small businesses should verify that their password policies adhere to the FBI's standards for creating strong passwords. Utilize password managers such as RoboForm, NordPass, DASHLANE, and KEEPER regularly to ensure the security of small company passwords. Another cybersecurity best practices suggestion is that small business owners may utilize two-factor authentication to give an additional degree of security to their digital accounts. Additionally, you may utilize a password-less security strategy to improve account security by eliminating the need for any passwords. Having these cybersecurity best practices in place may serve as the foundation for a robust security plan. Provide Cyber Awareness Training to Your Employees Cybersecurity awareness and understanding among employees are critical for every company. Therefore, cyber awareness training should be mandatory as part of cybersecurity best practices and seriously considered for inclusion in security policy. The following are some suggestions for educating your staff about cybersecurity: Make it essential Integrate cybersecurity into the onboarding process Teach them to identify phishing emails Teach them the proper password combination Conduct cybersecurity exams VPS and Security Considering the present state of the world, including a virtual private server (VPS) into the IT infrastructure is one of the most acceptable cybersecurity solutions for small businesses. According to Statista, the worldwide virtual private network (VPN) market will reach $35.73 billion by 2022. As per Global Virtual Private Server Market Report 2021-2026, VPN and VPS usage is expected to reach 49%, with employees working from home. VPS enables remote access to specific computers and persons without requiring them to be physically present. This access enhances security and safeguards your company's data. Businesses that choose to allow their workers to work from home should search for VPS alternatives that fit with their business's security requirements and cybersecurity resources. "Organizations are ramping up security monitoring to try to know what is happening on endpoint devices. It's a unique opportunity for security to advocate for the employee experience." -David Etue, Nisos's Chief Executive Officer, (claimed in an interview with a Media 7 team) Final Thought Cyber security is an integral part of small businesses today. It helps companies to protect and safeguard their sensitive and confidential data against cyber theft. However, given the dynamic nature of cybercrime, you need to develop comprehensive and effective cybersecurity solutions for small businesses. As a result, it is vital to verify that these procedures are appropriately applied. FAQs: How can small businesses improve cybersecurity? Here are a few tips for small business cybersecurity improvement: Provide cyber awareness training to your employees Utilize VPS and security Strong password and authentication Protect your Internet connection with a firewall Protect your wireless networks Utilize excellent practices when it comes to payment cards What are the top cybersecurity threats facing small businesses? Read out to the top cybersecurity threats small businesses are facing: Emotet SMS phishing Sophisticated ransomware attacks Deepfake videos Spoof accounts IoT attacks Do small businesses need cyber security? Information technology has developed into a significant role in the success of small enterprises. Cybersecurity safeguards their business, consumer and employee information, and sensitive data against rising cybersecurity threats. Cyber security is important for small businesses because they cannot afford to lose critical data and information. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can small businesses improve cybersecurity?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Here are a few tips for small business cybersecurity improvement: Provide cyber awareness training to your employees Utilize VPS and security Strong password and authentication Protect your Internet connection with a firewall Protect your wireless networks Utilize excellent practices when it comes to payment cards" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the top cybersecurity threats facing small businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Read out to the top cybersecurity threats small businesses are facing: Emotet SMS phishing Sophisticated ransomware attacks Deepfake videos Spoof accounts IoT attacks" } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Do small businesses need cyber security?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Information technology has developed into a significant role in the success of small enterprises. Cybersecurity safeguards their business, consumer and employee information, and sensitive data against rising cybersecurity threats. Cyber security is important for small businesses because they cannot afford to lose critical data and information." } }] }

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