Cyber-security for small business owners (and even mid-sized businesses) is more important than ever. We spend a lot of time talking to small and medium sized businesses about their technology and security. What we find is that a large number of small business owners don’t think they are targets for cybercrime. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A small business may not be targeted in same way as a large corporation or bank. But it can still be the target of a cyber attack.
A targeted attack or a random drive-by attack can easily happen to a small business. A drive-by attack is where a criminal isn’t looking for your business. They just happen to find it. And, the frequency of these attacks on smaller businesses is increasing. Many of these attacks are escalating in sophistication as well.
Is your company prepared in the event this happens to you?
Below are the seven recommendations for cyber-security for small business. We routinely assess these areas with our clients. We’ve written about each of these extensively. You can find links to related articles in each category below.
Seven Critical Areas for Cyber-Security
1 – Anti-Virus
Every small and medium sized business needs to have a good, paid, anti-virus program running on ALL of their computers. This includes Macs. Macs do get viruses and they are increasingly common. Free anti virus programs don’t do a good job and are likely selling your data.
2 – Updates
You need to keep your computers up to date, or patched. Make sure your operating systems are still in support. You don’t want to have Windows 7 running on a PC. You also need to make sure the applications on your computer are up to date. They can be exploited to gain access to your systems.
3 – Complex and Unique Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
We discuss passwords a lot. [See our article on Are Password Managers a Good Idea.] Having strong passwords that are complex and unique is important. But, it’s not enough. In this day and age, you need to have two-factor authentication [Read Double Your Security with Two Factor Authentication] turned on for every site that allows it. This is especially true of banking sites and your email system. Consider using a password management tool like LastPass.
4 – Backup
You need to have cloud-based backup on your systems. This protects you not only from disasters but from accidental, or malicious, file deletion. Every week we restore a file for someone because it was deleted. Sometimes this is done by a disgruntled (now former) employee).
5 – Encryption
Turning on encryption for Macs or business class PCs is a very easy task. This is not only important to meet your compliance requirements, it is a good idea for anyone. It typically comes included on your computer these days.
6 – Employee Training
Training your employees is a great return on investment. As crazy as it sounds, the bad guys are out to get them. Making sure they know what to look for. Trained employees, knowledgable about what to do, can decrease your malware infection and data breach rates.
7 – Cyber Liability Insurance
If you don’t have Cyber Liability Insurance, then talk to your insurance provider today. In the event of a data breach these policies can save your business tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While EVERY business should be implementing all of these measures, some businesses might need to be doing more. Cyber security for small businesses can be overwhelming. We are happy to sit down with you to assess your needs. We’ll discuss your situation and make appropriate recommendations to ensure your business is safe and secure.
Contact us by phone or email.
Call: (844) 448-7767