The Small Business Guide to Cyber Security

With massive data breaches making headlines on a regular bases, it's hard to ignore the fact that data security is becoming increasingly important. Unfortunately, there are still far too many small business that don't understand just how serious the threat is-and that can be dangerous.

Growing threat to Small Business

Recent research demonstrates that the growing cybersecurity threat isn't a trend that only affects big, national companies. It's just as serious, if not more serious, for small business to be prepared because data breaches and cyber attacks are very real possibilities for them.

Educate yourself and your employees

Knowing what you're up against is half the battle. Security is all about protecting data and preventing data loss. You need to make sure you're prepared.

1. The Post-it full of passwords:

These post-its offten provide easy access to sensitive information to people who should'nt have it, like disgruntled employees or a thief durning a break-in.

2. Out-dated operating systems:

Technology is an important part of everyday small business, but it's often not a priority. Make it a priority when it comes time for you'r monthly updates. Also don't run old operating systems like Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 on your network. They are vulnerable since they are no longer supported. It's time to transition to something more secure. A Managed Service Provider will be able to help you execute a migration to newer operating systems.

3. Security software that never gets updated:

Update anti virus software regularly. If you didn't take the step and pay for subscriptions or updates you aren't nearly as secure as you think. Don't fool around, each step counts.

4. Old employees still have access:

Lax password policies and passwords that don't expire create another security concern for all business, not just small business. This doesn't necessarily mean any of them will do something malicious, but why take the risk?

5.Put technical safeguards in place:

Thieves can operate under your identity for years without discovery, and some of these crimes are very difficult to detect. As a best practice, have an intrusion-prevention system and security software running on your computers. These should include anti virus, firewalls, Spam filters and make sure security patches are up dated. It is also critical to have a backup solution in place and frequently test the backup to make sure it is working correctly. If you are hit with ransom ware, you will be ready to restore operations as quickly as possible, saving you both time and money. You must make it not worth their while to put in the time. Time is their first advantage.

6. Situational awareness:

It is surprising how many times an attack that is executed is because someone left their guard down, left a door unlocked, or window open, or didn't read an instruction properly, so think before you click, because they will come like a thief in the night.

Report attacks to the Internet Crime Complaints Cyber division of the FBI
IC3.GOV Online complaints