Small businesses need to be aware that almost half of reported cyber attacks target them. Now, consider 60% of those enterprises go out of business within six months after an attack. Small Business Trends spoke with cyber security expert Brent Scott about the 10 digital best practices to protect your small business from cyber attack.
“It’s important to raise public awareness to the ever-increasing rates of data breaches, credit fraud, and cyber crime,” he says.
Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Attack
Use Secure Networks
WiFi at your local coffee shop is convenient but not always secure. Remember that your personal, business or client information can be included in the data that gets transferred from an unsecured network.
Take a moment to check the URL. You’re looking for what’s called a secure connection here that starts with an https://.
Get possessive with all your small business data. Credit card numbers, bank routing data and even employee social security numbers are hacker gold. One solution is encrypting your data with software that makes up passwords to keep it all safe.
Get A Firewall
These are the moats that you dig around the castle (computer) where you keep sensitive information. You have external and internal choices. Make sure to get a good firewall for a home computer too if you do business on it.
Install Updates and Patches
These are just two more arrows in your small business security quiver. Your software works best when you’ve got the latest versions with the most up-to-date security. Remember these are fixes for the bugs and security issues that are always cropping up.
Know the Enemy
It really helps when you understand what your small business is up against. Understanding external and internal weak spots comes with knowing what to look for. Learn about the threats and the latest malware, phishing and spoofing scams.
Develop a Good Policy
Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to preventing these attacks. These need to cover everything like what employees share on social media sites and protocols for using things like flash drives.
Securely Delete Unneeded Files
“You should also update share/access settings,” says Scott pointing to the fact that 145 million Americans had personal information stolen recently from Equifax. These unnecessary files can be temporary and downloaded files.
Lock Your Network Down Tight
For many small businesses, WiFi is a fact of business life. You can make the one you use at the office more safe and secure by checking the WPA2 standard. It’s the latest best in WiFi security. Get into the admin section on the router and look at the Security Options to find out if you’re covered.
Get Protected from Malware
Malware is the blanket term for all those nasty things like Trojans and Ransomware that can steal your info and cripple your business. Companies like LifeLock even include a useful mobile app that provides a security umbrella.
Look for continuous automatic updates.
Get SSL Certificate Protection
This is especially important for those small business that take payments on a website. The Secure Sockets Layer protects critical credit card and other information. A Google search will point your business in the right direction.