Large corporations make the news on a regular basis for being victims of cyberattacks. But small businesses are equally at risk. Cybercriminals and hackers know that small businesses often have less security, making them more vulnerable to attacks.|
Be proactive about security
While there is no replacement for an IT security expert assessing your business’ specific weaknesses, there are some preventive steps that can help small businesses protect themselves from cybercriminals looking to steal money and confidential data.
1. Develop a security plan. This means encrypting laptop drives; creating a password policy that requires employees to update passwords every 90 days and use a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols; and setting business mobile devices to have a password and lock automatically when unused for a certain length of time.
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2. Educate employees. Employees are your first line of defense against cybercriminals, but they can also be a weakness if they are not trained properly. Before giving employees access to confidential data, be sure they know your business’ security policies, how to recognize potential threats and what to do when a threat presents itself.
3. Install anti-malware software and firewalls. Invest in a firewall and business-class, anti-malware software to protect your business’s PCs, servers and mobile devices from network intrusions. Perform regular tests and scan for viruses that could be stealing sensitive data.
4. Designate a banking-only computer. This computer can be used exclusively for financial transactions — no social media, email or surfing the web. Keeping banking on a separate computer will make it much more difficult for outsiders to gain access to sensitive information.
5. Insure your business. No matter how careful you may be, security breaches happen. As a last line of defense, consider purchasing an insurance policy that protects you against any losses you may incur
as a result of cybercrime.
For more information on current cyber threats and protection tips, visit our Online Security Center