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  • Writer's pictureDavid M. Olsen

Cyber Tips for Small Businesses

With cyber crime on the rise, small businesses need to be just as cautious as large businesses in preventing security breaches.

According to a recent internet security threat report, small businesses have increasingly become targets for cyber criminals. With over 40 percent of cyber attacks targeting small businesses, it is important to lower the risk of an attack and be prepared if one occurs. The following simple, economical steps can help reduce your risk of falling victim to a costly cyber attack:

  1. Equip each of your business’s computers with anti-virus software and anti-spyware, and update it regularly.

  2. Use a firewall and encrypting information to safeguard your internet connection. Password-protect access to your router.

  3. Establish policies outlining how employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data.

  4. Educate employees about cyber threats and hold them accountable to the business’s internet security policies and procedures.

  5. Require employees to choose strong passwords and to change them often.

  6. Make sure your banks and card processors utilize trusted anti-fraud services. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs.

  7. Regularly back up data on all company computers, and store copies either off-site or in the cloud.

  8. Control physical access to computers and network components. Require individual user accounts for each employee.

  9. Create a mobile device action plan for lost or stolen equipment.

  10. Protect every page of public-facing websites, not just the login page.

Don’t Equate Small with Safe

Despite significant cybersecurity exposures, 85 percent of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware, or a data breach. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely

targets for cyber attacks. In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance.

Symantec’s study found that 40 percent of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees. Outside sources like hackers aren’t the only way your company can be attacked—often, smaller companies have a family-like atmosphere and put too much trust in their employees. This can lead to complacency, which is exactly what a disgruntled or recently fired employee needs to execute an attack on the business.

DOWNLOAD A FREE Cyber Risk Exposure Scorecard to evaluate your business.

Cyber Liability Scorecard
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