Why and How to Prioritize Cybersecurity for Your Coworking Business

According to the World Economic Forum, cyber attacks are the third biggest risk to global instability. And while the report was done on a global scale, it doesn't mean that it doesn't ring true when it comes to local businesses.

If you're running a coworking business, cybersecurity should be one of your top priorities. With multiple people operating and connected in your space, your business is an attractive target in the eyes of cybercriminals. You don't want to leave your business vulnerable, so you must take the necessary steps to improve your cybersecurity protocols.

Why it's important to prioritize cybersecurity

Working in an open space and sharing Wi-Fi with other workers and businesses is practically an invitation to a data breach. But with a wireless connection being one of the most critical services that your coworking space can deliver to its clients, it's imperative that you pull all the stops in ensuring your clients that you are doing everything you can to protect their data.

By working in your space, your clients are entrusting their privacy to you. They want to be assured that their sensitive information won't fall into the wrong hands. If you allow a data breach to happen, not only are you ruining your business' reputation, but you might also be subject to a liability lawsuit.

There's no overstating just how important it is to prioritize cybersecurity in your coworking business. As you're responsible for looking after the data of dozens of people, it's not enough that the technology is simply up to date or that you have a strong password for your Wi-Fi network. Putting up a slew of security protocols is the way to go, along with making an effort to spread awareness about cybersecurity, so your clients know what they ought to be looking out for. When you make cybersecurity a priority, you'll establish trust with your clients and elevate the reputation of your coworking space.

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How to improve cybersecurity in the space

Protect your network

You have to keep in mind that coworkers that work across a slew of industries are operating in your space. It only takes one of them to compromise the data of many others. It is therefore of the utmost importance to invest in a strong and secure network, so you can ensure that you're keeping everyone's private information safe and protected.

Instead of hosting all users on the same network, it would be better if each of them had different credentials with a corresponding unique password. This way, in the event that one gets hacked, the probability of the other members being affected is reduced.

Hire dedicated staff

While tools and software can do a lot in mitigating cyber threats, the best option is still getting someone to manage cybersecurity issues. It should be a professional who has the expertise to monitor and ensure network security. Of course, this may be an expensive option, especially if you run a small operation, which is why you can also opt to provide cybersecurity training for yourself or your staff. The good news is that there are a wide range of online options to choose from that won’t require you to leave your place of work.

Your budget and how in-depth you want to go will dictate what type of online course you choose. For example, tech company Fortinet offer self-paced training for technical security and broad cyber awareness, with three courses free for those who sign up. Covered in the courses are firewall policies, user authentication, routing, and SSL VPN. For those who want to go more in depth, many established universities offer online cybersecurity degrees that cover areas like network and mobile security, and virtualization and cloud security. Knowing these areas will help you prevent data theft and preserve data integrity. This ability to improve your cyber skills is crucial to your business, as you're responsible for ensuring that your members' most pertinent data can't be accessed by hackers with malicious intent. You'll have the know-how to secure your network and ensure that it's thoroughly encrypted. If you don't have the bandwidth to take an extensive, full degree, the best alternative is taking short courses that are just as information-rich.

Block websites

The last thing you want is to restrict the access of your clients to certain sites, but it's something that should be done. After all, data breaches serve as a serious risk, and you don't want to deal with its repercussions, especially if it involves other people. Insecure websites, phishing attempts, and malware, are just some of the ways in which hackers attempt to infiltrate your network.

To prevent breaches from happening, it's best to practice web filtering. It's a security method that entails filtering out certain sites in an effort to eliminate opportunities that outsiders have to get into your network. You don't want to lose clients or cost your business money because you allowed a breach to happen. With web filtering, you can easily protect your organization against these threats.

With all these being said, it's worth keeping in mind that cybersecurity is not a one-and-done affair. It's an ongoing phase that involves continuously improving your security protocols to look after everyone's online safety. Now that we're living in a time where digital data is the crux of all information, it must be protected against any malpractices. Especially if your company’s business revolves around shared networks.

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