Cybersecurity Tips For Consultants

A woman checks a security code on her phone to log into a website on her laptop.
| 10.17.22
Susan G.

After working hard to put together an admirable clientele roster the last thing you want to have happen is a data breach or virus. A cyberattack puts your business and your customers at risk. Clients may wonder, if you can’t handle your cybersecurity, can you handle their business? You must do what you can to prevent a cyberattack.

Why Consulting Businesses Are At Risk For Cyber Attacks

You work with a variety of clients.
Your business is more bang for a cybercriminal’s buck! If your data is breached, it may open the door to your customers’ data also being breached. 

You are less likely to have strong cybersecurity.
Unless you are a financial consultant, cybersecurity probably has not been top of mind. And cybercriminals know it! You may even think of cybersecurity as an unnecessary inconvenience when you're shuffling from contract to contract.

You’re more likely to pay and move on.
Rather than trying to find someone to fight a ransomware attack, you are more likely to pay the ransom and move on with your business.

Why Have Cybersecurity As A Consultant?

Your reputation matters.
You’ve built up your reputation through reliable, solid work. The same rings true whether you’re an environmental consultant, marketing consultant, performing management consulting, or strategy consulting. You have more to lose than some companies because your business depends on your relationships—the stakes are simply higher for you.

A cyberattack is disruptive.
Think about it. If you’re an independent consultant who fired up your laptop today and got greeted by a ransom request, it halted your work. Your laptop is your office! And if you passed a computer virus to your clients as an engineering consultant, you’d spend part of the day making calls that no one wants to make instead of working out complex solutions. 

Simple steps make a difference.
When it comes down to it, cybersecurity isn’t that complicated. The good news is that you can improve your defenses relatively quickly.

7 Top Tips To Improve Your Cybersecurity As A Consultant

Have a different password for every client project and log in.
Across the board, from your business banking login to your business credit card, to your laptop itself, and all the tools you use for your business consulting services… each and every one needs to have its own password. You can use a secure tool like LastPass to help you manage this task in a snap.

Use secure passwords.
We’re all old hands at this by now, right? Though it is tempting to be clever with your passwords, you have to go past clever and include numbers and special characters. Avoid using your birthday or anniversary! And change your passwords more than once a year.

Avoid using public Wifi without precautions.
If you’re working at the local coffee shop, protect your passwords and business by using a VPN and accessing HTTPS pages only. This isn’t the time to pay bills or check your bank balance!

Keep your software and computer updated.
Yes, updated are annoying. They are your first line of defense, however. Make it a routine to go ahead and check for updates each morning or evening, or have your computer alert you when there are updates. Delete unused software, and keep your phone completely updated, too!

Lock your computer.
If someone steals your laptop, why make it easier for them to access your files? Put a login on your computer and follow the password advice above. 

Back up your data. 
If someone really does steal your laptop, you’ll be back up and running faster if you’ve backed up your data. This also helps if you must reformat your computer thanks to a pesky virus. Make it a habit or set up a continual backup.

Be smart about emails.
Don’t click on attachments until you have confirmed that you recognize the sender’s full email. That will save you certain agony. Update your email passwords even more often than other passwords. Have antivirus software on your laptop in case someone else sends you a virus by email. 

We hope these seven top tips for cybersecurity have given you some ideas on how to protect your cybersecurity business. An additional top tip is to have cyber insurance. Cyber insurance coverage helps you recover from a cyberattack, including restoring lost data. B2Z can help consultants and financial advisors with your business insurance needs. Check it out today for your peace of mind!

About the Author

B2Z Insurance is a small business insurance company that provides coverage for on-the-go business owners: simple explanations, easy application, digital quotes, and mobile claims. A product that is easy-to-use and helps you assess the unique coverage needs of your business with confidence—freeing you up to grow your business.