How to Start Selling on Amazon

Amazon is a platform that attracts millions of users every day. It is one of the biggest e-commerce companies out there, and with this reputation; it’s changed the way we shop.

Understandably, there’s a lot of stuff to experiment with when it comes to Amazon, and you might even think that you want to get your hands on a slice of the pie. It’s completely understandable, and that’s why we’ll be taking a look at how you can start selling on Amazon today.

The basics

Okay, let’s take a look at the basics and work out what is that you need to know about Amazon Marketplace. Amazon Marketplace allows people to tap into the power of Amazon’s infrastructure to sell their products under the Amazon flag.

If you’re someone who is selling products under the flag of Amazon, you’ll be split up into two different categories. On the one hand, you’ve got casual sellers and professional ones. The casual sellers are defined as people who sell at a maximum of 35 items a month or less. They don’t have to pay a fee in the conventional sense; instead, one for each completed item and referral fees.

On the other end of the scale, you’ve got those professional sellers, who are categorized by the fact that they sell at least 35 items a month. They can sell their products at a far greater clip than the casual crowd, and they have tools for bulk listing. Don’t be fooled though – there’s a monthly subscription fee for these people, as well as the completion and referral charges that are paid by casual sellers.

It is the official recommendation of Amazon themselves that if you want to try and sell more than 35 items with the Marketplace, you become what they refer to as a “pro-merchant seller”. This level of membership, as it’s often described, gives you access to 5 different EU marketplaces, at the cost of around $25.

Amazon benefits e-commerce startups searching for international audiences

It’s probably important to mention that for an e-commerce startup that is looking for an international audience to sell products, Amazon has made some leeway in this field.

Amazon has created a European marketplace which effectively combines five different locations: (Germany), (France), (Spain), (Italy) and for British sales.

When we combine this with a reported 40% increase in the number of US-based sellers exporting to European countries as far back as 2016, you can see why this method may well be tempting for you.

Of course, you don’t just transition to other countries for the revenue, oh no. It’s a great way to test a product fit in a safe place without compromising your primary distribution area.

It is important to deliver a stark warning to anyone who is considering this particular route. There is considerable admin for foreign sales, like taxes and currency payments. Banks are particularly scathing with businesses, and will often give them bad exchange rates, making the business unviable in extreme situations. It is vital to shop around and see what is on offer before you begin.

The benefits of using Amazon to sell

Naturally, there are considerable benefits to selling on Amazon, which makes the company a superb choice for little investment. Here are some of them below:

1. Simplicity

Simplicity is going to be one of the biggest determining factors for picking an online marketplace to work in. Amazon has a very easy way of putting products up for sale, which means that you can get things going quite soon after you sign up. You enter the product that you want to sell, put a price on it, record the condition of it, and that’s it.

2. Exposure

As you’re probably aware, Amazon has one of the biggest customer bases on the planet, being perhaps the largest e-commerce platform available. There are thousands of users who visit the site every hour, which means that the chance of your product selling is incredibly high.

3. Cost efficiency

One of the big advantages to something like Amazon is that you can list as many products as you want with no fee to pay. It means you can pick out a sales strategy that will work for your needs as a business. Plus, there are no fixed costs for handling or shipping of your products across the different countries.

4. Trust

It is also important to remember that as a company, Amazon is trusted and respected by the customers that it works with every day. A recent survey conducted in the US gave Amazon an 86% rating in regard to customer satisfaction.

It’s certainly not difficult to recognize that Amazon is a brand name, which has generated a very positive reputation over the years. The trust and loyalty which are applied automatically to Amazon will also be shown to you by proxy so that you can market your products quite easily.

5. Market awareness

One thing the Amazon Marketplace does offer is the ability to look at the products being sold by competitors and gain some crucial market awareness. You must understand how the rest of the industry is performing in relation to you because this will help you to identify whether you are one of the leading forces in your market, or whether you need to make some improvements to your business.

Selling on Amazon

So, it is probably time that we talk about the main reason why you are here. Do you want to learn how to get started selling products on Amazon?

The first thing that you need to do is to work out which type of seller you want to be. As we previously mentioned, if you’re going to be selling less than 35 items, being a casual Amazon user is probably the best option. However, if you’re going to start selling in bulk from the beginning, you should probably look for the professional classification system.

If you want to register as a seller on Amazon, then you will need to make sure that you have the following information available.

  • An email address.
  • A phone number for use during the registration process.
  • Information to register your bank account to your account.
  • A US or internationally chargeable credit or debit card which has a valid billing address.
  • If your business is VAT registered, you need to provide your VAT number.

If you need help getting started, you can also use the services of Amazon marketing specialists such as Nuanced Media. By utilizing expertise, you save the hassle of doing the hard work yourself!

Registering products to sell on Amazon

Okay, now that you have classified yourself with Amazon’s system, it is now time to take a look at registering products on the website to sell. Thankfully, this is pretty easy.

If you are a casual seller, then you will find that every Amazon product page has a blue box on it which is titled “more buying choices“. This is usually located on the right-hand side of the page, and if you click on the “sell yours here“ button, then you will be able to start the registration process. The condition and age of the product, and any other additional comments you feel are necessary will be registered here.

However, if you have registered for professional status or an experienced seller title, you can use Amazon’s web-based interface to list products or, alternatively, utilize the bulk listing tools.

Extra tips

It’s probably pretty important to note that Amazon does have a few restrictions when it comes to what you can and cannot sell on their website.

Mobile phones, tobacco and alcohol, magazines and newspaper subscriptions, gift certificates and gift cards, prescription medication, firearms and ammunition, as well as photo processing services cannot be sold on the main website. Merchants are fully priced to sell in any of the other categories, however.

It is essential to note that Amazon has their own pricing tools available for anybody who is struggling to work out how much to sell products for, although you are free to create your own price if you desire. It is recommended to use the tools of Amazon themselves, as this will mean that you should have a better chance of selling, but it is entirely up to you.

Selling products on Amazon is a rewarding thing to look into. There are numerous benefits to selling your products with Amazon themselves, as the company has one of the largest platforms in the world, and controls a significant number of different audiences. Naturally, it is important to make sure that you look into all of Amazon’s selling practices if you’re going to get the best possible results, as otherwise, you may run the risk of not having your products properly advertised, or simply filling in violation of the seller guidelines.

Despite having said this, however, there is no doubt that selling with Amazon is one of the most effective ways to get reach and promotion in a way that is not possible in other places. With the only serious competitor to Amazon being something like eBay, it’s clear to see why this is a good place to set up shop.

Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia,
an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number
of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin

Integrating Cybersecurity with Web Development: Ensure Security Even Before Your Business Comes Online

There are a few foundational truths on which all our future business-oriented steps should be focused on from 2020 onwards. One of them would be ensuring cybersecurity from all possible angles and doing so irrespective of the concerned business’s size, volume or segment. Today, we are going to focus on that very aspect, but with particular concentration on integrating cybersecurity with web designing. It is a fundamental step that builds a reliable, secured foundation for layering the subsequent measures of cybersecurity.

Collaboration is Desirable but Not Mandatory

In order to build a safe and secured website for any online business, there should ideally be collaboration between the company’s web designing team and cybersecurity team. It is absolutely essential for the two type of professionals to work in perfect harmony with each other if they wish to build a secured website.

However, this might be difficult to achieve, as two different teams/individuals from completely different professional backgrounds will find it hard to accommodate each other without significant delays and even possible conflicts. Thanks to companies like Zen Den Web Design, that is not a mandatory requirement anymore.

You can find comprehensive web designing and SEO services online, which also integrate military-grade cyber security within their client’s web architecture from day one. By eliminating the need to hire cybersecurity experts and web designers separately, they also eliminate the chances of internal conflicts and delays.

An Overview of the Process in General

Even if you are the business owner and do not have sufficient technical expertise to go into the details, at least a basic understanding of the processes necessary for integrating cybersecurity with web design will help you understand what’s going on. The processes can be divided into the following primary disciplines:

Preventative Measures

With data security in focus, the website should be designed to be secured against breaches from the ground up. Understand that various additional measures will also be needed to maintain the data integrity of your business site, but the more gapless your web design security is, the better those future steps will be at preventing data beaches.

Data Management: 3 Points of Cybersecurity

On account of both legal and moral bindings, any business website that collects data from their clients, customers and users, should be able to provide protection on three primary aspects:

  1. Protection of data during collection
  2. Protected storage for the collected data
  3. Destruction of the collected data on being breached to prevent misuse and blackmail

User Awareness and Transparency

If users know about the level of security that your site is capable of offering, then they should also be able to make a conscious decision regarding whether they can or should share the data with the website. This level of transparency can be achieved by simplifying and integrating legal and technical information into every key step, so that it becomes more accessible to the common user.

From a business’s point of view, this should be integrated into the web architecture itself, so that the warnings, notices and declarations can keep the website from facing ruinous, future litigations from their users due to an unfortunate data breach.

Things to Consider When Setting up an E-Commerce Business

Lots of people who aren’t too experienced in the e-commerce industry can easily romanticize the idea, thinking that all you have to do is put some products online and wait for the money to flow in. The reality, unfortunately, involves a lot more dedication, time and effort. There are so many different things that need to be considered that it can be difficult to really understand which are most important. This list below will show you some of the most valuable things to do before setting up your e-commerce business.

Choose the Right E-Commerce Platform

An e-commerce platform is going to provide the foundation of your business; however, it can offer much more than simply being a platform to display product listings. The right e-commerce platform will be able to offer you flexibility, allowing you to scale up as your business grows. It will also offer you versatility in design, so you are able to create a site that most accurately represents your brand’s image and core values.

Choosing the right platform should allow you the option to easily engage and interact with your customers. Many people use WooCommerce, as it’s one of the most scalable and flexible options on the market — built for WordPress — making it the perfect choice for your e-commerce business. Just remember that WooCommerce allows you to put in many features that might slow down your site in exchange for functionality. Either approach your website with a lean philosophy or get some help making WooCommerce websites faster so your technical SEO doesn’t suffer. 

Who is Your Target Market?

Having a deep and clear understanding of your target market should inform all your business practices, from product development to digital marketing. Your knowledge of your target market should be based on more than basic market segmentation, such as age, gender, or education levels. Having some awareness of what it is that your customers value, what they enjoy and how they spend some of their time can be vital, allowing you to make deeper, more meaningful and long lasting connections.

Know Your Competition  

Taking the time to conduct market research before you set off on creating your e-commerce business can often provide valuable information. Analysis of your competitors will help you understand what works in the industry and what doesn’t. This information can give you a bit of a head start. Instead of trying new techniques and learning from failures as your competition had to, you can go straight into using practices that have proven reward.

Choose Your Product Carefully  

It is likely that the idea for your e-commerce business was first inspired by a product or range of products. However, when it comes to actually choosing the items you are to sell, it is important that this is an informed decision. Before you order your stock, you need to check your product against your analysis of your target market and competition. You need to be sure that what you are selling is something that your target market will want to buy.

It is also important to make sure that your product is unique, unlike anything that your competition is selling. Once you are secure in the concept of your product, you can then move onto the practicalities of where you will source it, where it will be stocked, and how it will be shipped to your customers.

Most Common Tech Support Problems and How to Solve Them

When you run a business, you will inevitably suffer from some sort of technological issues. While some of these are highly complex and cannot be dealt with alone, there are also plenty that are solvable by taking a few simple actions. If you know how to deal with common technical problems yourself, you can keep your business running smoothly.

Restart Your System First

While it has become a cliché to talk about turning your computer off and on again, the number of times that this proves to do the job is staggering. Whether you have a frozen laptop or a misfiring printer, this should be your first step. The same goes if you are having connection issues with your Wi-Fi You may find that it is just your operating systems that need updating.

Slow Computer

There is nothing more frustrating than a computer that seems to take an age to load, but before you decide to throw it on the scrap heap, you want to make sure that it is the actual cause of the problem. Often, websites that take an eternity to load can be the fault of a poor Wi-Fi connection and not the computer itself. If you are still experiencing problems with your PC, you should check to ensure that you have enough space on your hard drive. Now is a good opportunity to get rid of some of those unnecessary files. Again, another possible issue is that you have not installed your updates, so do not ignore that message the next time that it pops up!

Pop-Up Ads

One way of avoiding adverts from spoiling your browsing experience is by installing an ad blocker on your system. There are plenty available these days, and they can help to make browsing the internet a much more enjoyable experience. If you find that an excessive number of ads are still appearing, it may be that you have inadvertently installed adware onto your system. You need accredited antivirus software to keep this off your system. You should only need one that will perform the necessary scans for you but have an additional check if you are worried that something has got onto your computer that should not be there.

Your Systems Are Too Old

If you are unable to run the latest programs, it may simply be the case that your systems are too old. Alternatively, you may not have the necessary expertise to keep them running effectively, which is where a professional service like Iconic IT can help. Ultimately, if you do not keep on top of updating your hard and software from time to time, it is more likely that it will not run as effectively as you would like.

By keeping these four points in mind and trying out the methods as a starting point, you may well be able to avoid tech disruption at your business. Many more problems than you think can be solved easily.

Three ways to reach your target audience online

Whether you’re in the process of setting up your own business or you’re a seasoned small business owner, having a strong online marketing strategy is essential to your success. As well as this, when coming up with your business’s marketing plan, you will have no doubt considered who is the target audience for your product or services. From Twitter to Snapchat, Instagram to YouTube, the sheer quantity of online platforms can soon become overwhelming, especially if you feel that your business should have a presence on all of them. To assist you with getting the best from your online platforms, here are three ways that you can reach your target audience online.

  1. Identify what platform your target audience will respond best to

Research shows that different demographics of people respond differently to different types of social media. For instance, Snapchat is popular amongst teenagers, and Instagram has a large user base of Gen Z and millennial women; Facebook, however, is the most democratic social media platform, having the largest number of users across all ages and genders. To take advantage of this research, you could ask your customers and followers to complete a questionnaire to provide you with information about the demographics of your customer base. This will give you the information to know on what social media platform you should focus your online marketing.

  1. Collaborate with bloggers and influencers

Although still a relatively new career choice, bloggers and other online influencers command a huge amount of respect and influence over customers, having built up their own trusted brand. With some bloggers and influencers reaching well over a million followers, a post or two about your product will ensure that your business reaches a huge number of potential customers. With bloggers and influencers active in a variety of different fields, from book bloggers to fitness Instagrammers, you are sure to find an online influencer to suit your business’s ethos. For instance, Click Intelligence can match you up with a blogger suitable for your business who can help to increase your online presence by producing great content on your behalf that you can use for your business.

  1. Interact regularly with your customer base

There is growing evidence that customers respond better to businesses that are open and transparent with them, disliking traditional hard sales techniques such as a constant stream of promotional information. This is perhaps because most customers like to feel that they are building a relationship with a trusted business, rather than being a disposable statistic in a corporate setting. Considering this, you must connect with your customers over your business’s social media platforms. You could, for instance, host a Livestream when launching new products to provide your customers with a proper look at what is on offer, as well as being available to answer any questions they may have about your business. By doing this, you are then able to build up a trusting relationship between your business and your target audience.  

How to Reduce the Start-Up Costs for Your Small Business

Anyone who is starting up a new business rarely has a plethora of money that they are willing to throw around. After all, that’s why people start businesses, to sell a product or service in return for profit. As you grow your business, you will have access to more financial resources which you can use to pay for upgrades, but when you start out, you need the bare minimum.

Lowering your start-up costs will help reduce the stress and financial burden as you embark on your new journey as an entrepreneur. Here are some of the ways that you can do it.

Work from a coworking space

Office rental is a considerable expense when starting a small business. There really isn’t any reason that you need to rent out an entire office, especially at the beginning. There is always the option to do so further down the line as you scale up and add more staff. Coworking spaces are a fantastic option, allowing you to rent out the desks you require to work from at a fraction of the cost of renting your own office.

On top of that, you can find a coworking space Glasgow which has conference/presentation rooms, lounges and terraces and cafes for you and your staff to use. You can use your coworking space for your business address for as long as you need to.


Outsourcing is the best way to save money on staffing costs when you start a new business. Hiring full-time, salaried employees is a huge expense, and often not necessary when you first start your business. Identify what your specific needs are, and find freelancers and contractors who you can outsource the work to. You can find a variety of freelancers on platforms like Upwork, who specialize in different areas, meaning you can choose the perfect fit.

Outsourcing is an excellent option for accounting and finance, marketing, social media, IT and even customer service. You will only need to pay them for the hours they work, meaning you’ll save on staffing costs, plus you aren’t required to offer benefits/health packages, which are another added expense.

Once your business grows big enough, then you may want to consider hiring full-time, permanent staff, but it’s not a required expense when you first start-up.

Do as much as you can

Taking care of as much as you possibly can yourself will save you tons of money when you first start your business. Balance is key, and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with tasks and end up burning out. That said, learning a bit about invoicing, doing accounts, digital marketing, and basic design will help you out as a business owner. Having basic knowledge in all of these areas will allow you to do many general tasks, at least in the beginning. Some of these tasks include scheduling and posting on social media, writing content for your onsite blog, sending invoices to clients, paying invoices for freelancers, and creating graphics for your social feeds.

There are tons of online resources where you can learn these skills for free, or close to it, with platforms like Udemy or simply by watching YouTube tutorials.

5 Ways To Modernize Your Business

The businesses that succeed and dominate in their industries are the ones that modernize and stay current. Being adaptable like this is vital because it allows you to find ways to improve the running of your company, it can help you to satisfy your target market, and could improve the quality of the product/service that you provide. So, how can you modernize your business? It will depend on your industry, but there are a few key areas to focus on, which could have a big impact on your brand in more ways than one. Read on to find out the best ways to modernize your business.

  1. Flexible Working

Flexible working has been a trend on the rise for many years, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses in all industries around the world to implement remote working, which has largely been successful. Flexible scheduling and remote working can bring many benefits to all and it is certainly a smart way to modernize your brand.

  1. Reduce Environmental Impact

Similarly, the pandemic has shown that reducing environmental impact can have a positive effect, so this needs to be an area that all businesses focus on. There are many ways to do this, such as:

  • Increasing recycling
  • Remote working
  • Functioning as a paperless company
  • Working with green suppliers
  • Using energy-efficient appliances
  1. Upgrade Your Equipment

Equipment is constantly being improved so it is highly likely that there are better items available, which could have a big impact on your daily operations. Fluent Conveyors can provide custom-made conveyor belts for your operation, which could streamline work processes, increase productivity, and make it much easier, quicker, and safer to transport material onsite. Smart upgrades such as these this can help a business to succeed in more ways than one, and they are always worth the investment.

  1. Automate Repetitive Tasks

Another area worth looking into is automation, as this can bring so many benefits to both the business and the employees. Automation can understandably cause some concern due to fears over job losses, but when it is used to help employees in their daily roles it can actually make work much easier for staff and allows them to focus on the area of their role that requires a human touch. Other advantages of automation include the reduction of errors, speeding up processes, and maximizing efficiency.

  1. Upgrade Cybersecurity

There has been so much focus placed on the pandemic in 2020, which is understandable because it has turned the world on its head, but it is important that business owners do not forget about the threat of cybercrime, which has previously been seen as the biggest threat to modern businesses. This means that you need to have high-quality cybersecurity products in place to protect your business from the latest digital threats, but you must also make sure that you are training your staff in how they can stay safe and protect business data.

Business owners should always be looking for ways to modernize so that they can stay competitive and improve their business processes, and the above tips are all smart ways to do this.

How to Set Up a Website for Your Small Business

If you operate a small business, having a website is essential. While businesses of the past had the option of utilizing a website for their products and services, today’s market demands that companies have a decent site. Otherwise, your business is likely to fall behind.

But just having a website is also not enough. Building a site that will attract customers and create conversions requires that it is appealing, functional, and easy to navigate. If your website is too slow or requires too many steps to make a purchase, you may lose customers forever.

If you’re brand new to setting up a website, below is some guidance that may be useful.

Establish Your Purpose

Establishing and defining the purpose of your website is absolutely crucial for its success. When potential customers land on your page, the purpose of your company and what you’re selling should be abundantly clear. The purpose will, of course, vary across businesses, and it may be that you don’t have much to explain. Just make sure that your purpose is crystal clear so that patrons of your site know what they are there for.

Decide on a Good Host

Hosting is vitally essential for the performance of your website. Popular hosting companies include:

  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • GreenGeeks
  • InMotion
  • SiteGround

Depending on your tech needs and budget, hosting can cost anywhere from $2 to $100+ per month. In terms of the type, you can opt for either shared hosting, which means you’ll share a server with other sites, or dedicated hosting, which means you’ll have your own private server.

The latter is obviously more expensive, but it means you’re not at the mercy of other websites and the potential for slow bandwidth speed. Whichever host you choose, ensure you select one that has everything you need in terms of support, security, and site performance.

Choose a Domain

Your domain name is as valuable as the name of your business. It is the URL that you will be sharing to promote your site, so it needs to be short, descriptive, easy to type, and jargon-free. Included in this is your top-level domain (TLD) and whether you will go for .com, .net, .org, etc. Depending on whether your site is international, you’ll need to do some research on the best TLD for your business. Once you’ve chosen your domain and TLD, you can visit sites like Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace to find out whether your name is available or already taken.

Create Engaging, Easy-to-use Pages/Interface

As you’re building your site, you must create pages that are memorable, engaging, and impressionable. The last thing you want is for people to land and leave, all before exploring your services. To do this, you’ll need to create an eye-catching interface with excellent content. As this can be the more challenging aspect of website building, you may want to hire a custom website design company. These experts can make your ideas reality while providing the technical know-how and experience to ensure the site is sleek and efficient.

Setting up a website for a small business is challenging, but not impossible. With the right guidance and support, you can be well on your way to having a well-designed and engaging site that customers will want to return to time and again.


4 Ways to Teach Employees Best Cyber Security Practices

Cyber security is something that every business owner should have on their priority list. Not only do you need to be able to have methods of protecting your clients’ information that they have entrusted you with, but you also need to be able to keep your employees’ information safe and secure. Everything from personal information to bank details are susceptible to cyber threats if not safeguarded appropriately.

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to implement the right systems and practice cyber security measures yourself, your information can still fall prey to cyber-attacks if your employees aren’t adequately trained in cyber security as well.

With that in mind, here are four ways to teach your employees the best cyber security practices so that you can help keep your company safe and protected from any attempted breaches.

1. Understand Cyber Security Yourself

The first thing that you will want to do prior to educating your employees is to educate yourself. There are a number of cyber security practices that you will want to learn more about so that you can be the one spearheading your security efforts. While there is merit to consulting with cyber security experts, there is no substitute for obtaining that knowledge for yourself. You can earn a degree pertaining to cyber security online via an accelerated program. Find out more information at


2. Place an Emphasis on Training

You can’t expect your employees to maintain good cyber security practices without the proper training. Furthermore, that training shouldn’t be just a one-time thing. You should start the training process for cyber security at your company right from the onboarding process.

Furthermore, the world of cyber security is constantly evolving and changing. This means that the manner in which employees at your company are trained should be an ongoing process as well. Make sure that all employees are kept up to date with the latest developments as they pertain to your company’s particular security measures.

3. Check in Via Evaluations

From time to time it becomes necessary to conduct evaluations with your employees concerning various aspects of your company’s internal operations. Such evaluations might pertain to employee satisfaction or other things of that nature. These evaluations can provide you with valuable insight into how your employees are feeling about their job situation.

You can also conduct evaluations and surveys in order to discover where your workers are at in regard to their cyber security knowledge. If the results of the surveys and evaluations indicate a lapse in knowledge, then you will be able to conduct a training in order to bring people up to speed.

4. Encourage Questions

Oftentimes, employees can have a tendency to avoid asking questions out fear of appearing inadequate. When it comes to cyber security, though, you don’t want to leave anything up to chance. For this reason, you need to make sure that you encourage your workers to ask questions if and when they come up.

What You Need to Know about the Latest Cyber Security Threats

Nobody would disagree with you if you said that cybersecurity is essential. However, if you asked them to take time out of their day or inconvenience themselves in the name of cybersecurity, you might find that people are less agreeable. This is because although people understand the term, they can’t quite connect it up with how it is relevant to them.

What are the risks

The thing most at risk from threats to your cybersecurity is your sensitive information, particularly customer information. Hackers will try to get hold of financial information, which poses a clear financial risk, but they will also find and sell valuable customer information. This then not only damages the reputation of your business but could mean that you are fined for not properly safeguarding sensitive data.

Cybercriminals will also leverage fragile connectivity so that they can use ransomware to disrupt your business and, in particular, the IoT (Internet of Things). If you have a lot of smart technology, this could pose a great deal of risk.

They are evolving as technology does

Cybercriminals are intelligent. As technology evolves, the threats evolve too. More and more businesses are utilising the cloud to store customer data, and as they do, the threat to that data is growing. This is creating new challenges, especially for small businesses.

AI and machine learning are the emerging technologies that everyone is getting excited about. Unfortunately, just as we can utilise this technology to improve our businesses, so cybercriminals can utilise it to expose weaknesses in our defences and make their attacks more effective. Similarly, creative cybercriminals can ‘poison’ machine learning, by sneaking in malicious code that causes the programme to malfunction.

Even smart contracts such as those used by Ethereum aren’t safe. It’s such a new technology that researchers are still finding bugs that can be exploited. This is something that any cybersecurity policy will need to cover in the future.

How you can be prepared

For small businesses, staying on top of cybersecurity can seem like an unending task that is taking you away from the core functions of your business. Plus, because cybercriminals are evolving so quickly, it can be hard to stay on top of what you need to be doing to keep your business safe. To give yourself the best possible chance of keeping your business safe, you could enlist a small business IT support provider. You can pay the experts to keep your business safe, while you do what you do best.

There are also some measures that can be implemented quickly and efficiently to up your security level, both in your business and personal life:

  • Encrypt your data, especially customer data.
  • Backup your system so that if you are the victim of a ransomware attack, you don’t lose everything.
  • Educate your staff on cybersecurity, particularly on phishing attacks, which will often be targeted at employee email addresses.
  • Ensure that customer data is secured behind a firewall.
  • Be mindful of social media; people create fake accounts that they will use to gain access to your data. Only befriend people online who you know actually exist.
  • Limit the amount of personal data you put online. If it’s not there, nobody can steal it!
  • Keep your software updated. Software companies will release updates to fix bugs, including vulnerabilities to Cyber Attack.
  • Use multi-factor authentication. It’s a bit annoying but effective.

Finally, try hacking yourself. If you can get in, then you need to rethink your security.