Cyber Security Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Follow
Smaller businesses are starting to become targets for criminals who wish to access sensitive data. This is because attackers are aware that small businesses do not have the resources or personnel to keep their information system secure. In order to work against these cyber attacks, the Department of Homeland Security initiated a National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October so that the public could be educated regarding these attacks and to prepare them when such an incident were to occur. The following are some tips which small business owners could benefit from.
- Make use of the FCC’s Small Biz Cyber Planner to develop a cyber security plan: This is a valuable tool for those businesses which lack resources to hire staff for protecting their data from cyber attacks. The tool walks users through a number of questions to figure out the security strategies which should be advised and generates a customized PDF as a strategy template.
- Devise cyber security rules for employees: Come up with rules of behavior as to how personally identifiable information should be handled and protected. Penalties for violating them should also be stated clearly.
- Protection against virus, malicious codes and spyware: Install, use and constantly update such software programs on the computers used within the company. A number of vendors sell a variety of software’s so pick one which fits your needs.
- Inform employees about safe social media practices: There are chances that your employees could be leaking sensitive information about your company to competitors. Due to this, employees should be taught about what they can post online in a way which doesn’t bring any sensitive data to light. Such education can help protecting your company from serious risks.
- Manage and assess any risk: Think about what you need to protect and what would impact your company the most? Cyber attackers tend to attack smaller businesses and then create a bridge to attack the larger firms. Since the smaller businesses are lesser protected, it makes them less attractive for business deals in the future and may block off potentially lucrative deals.
- Download and install once updates are available: Patches and updates are always provided by vendors to fix security problems and to improve the functioning of the software. Thus these need to be downloaded manually or automatically.
- Make backups of every data and information: The data found on business computers should be backed regularly especially data which is critical and without which the functioning of the company could be affected.
- Keep a control on the physical access to network components and computers: Prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing business computers. Laptops tend to be targets of theft so ensure that they are stored and locked away properly.
- Make Wi-Fi networks secure: Ensure that the Wi-Fi network used at home or business is kept secure. Configure the router to keep the network name hidden which is known as the SSID (Service Set Identifier). Also make sure that passwords are needed to access the network and change the administrative password when you purchase the device.