For many small businesses, cyber security is an afterthought. The majority of man and brain power goes to sales and the bottom line; cyber security is something you will worry about when your company gets larger. Besides, who would take the time to hack into the system of a small company when there are so many larger businesses to attack?
Well, we have bad news for small business owners. It turns out that small businesses are in fact more commonly targeted by cyber attacks than the big guys. Yes, Target and Home Depot hacks are all over the news, but small businesses make much easier targets than the giants and the attacks are usually more successful.
The unpleasant truth is that small businesses are easier to hack into. They often have DIY cyber security and IT and still have attractive information to steal – credit card numbers, employee personal information, credentials for websites and email accounts, and so on.
Cyber Security for Small Businesses
Use Antivirus Software
This may seem like a no-brainer, but having antivirus software on all computers can stop a large number of small attacks from breaching your system. This can protect you from viruses picked up during non-work related browsing by employees and even phishing scams that are sent to work email accounts. Stop the simple cyber attacks with basic antivirus software.
Update all Software Regularly
How often are you in the middle of a task when you are interrupted by a pop up asking you to update the program? Your first reaction is likely to dismiss it with the thought of doing it later, or even worse, you have become so annoyed with the prompts you have turned them off completely.
Well, as disruptive as it can be, updating your software regularly is a vital piece of cyber security. Software updates patch security issues and make the program run more smoothly. By passing on an update, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to whatever cyber security issues exist in the older version and are making yourself an easy target for hackers.
Secure Your Network
Secure your network by using a firewall and password protecting your router. Both a firewall and password protected router will stop any unauthorized devices from connecting to your network whether on or off-line. You wouldn’t leave your office door unlocked and open all day, every day, would you? Don’t leave your network wide open to intruders either.
Limit Employee Access
Limit employee access to only files they need. The most obvious information to protect is client personal and financial information, but keep employee social security numbers and direct deposit account numbers secure as well. By limiting employee access, if an individual’s computer falls victim to a cyber attack, the attackers can only get so far before they are stopped by unauthorized access. Don’t make it a walk in the park for a cyber criminal to find all of your sensitive information just by breaching one computer.
Use a Cloud Desktop
Contrary to what many believe, cloud computing is far more secure than a traditional system (and cheaper too). When you use a cloud desktop, your IT and security is managed by a cloud computing company. It is no longer up to you to make all of those updates on time, back up your information, or watch day and night for security breaches. Let someone else handle it, and you don’t have to let cyber security keep falling to the bottom of your to-do list.
Cloud desktops are more secure and are actually less expensive than having a traditional IT department in-house. For small businesses, cloud computing is the economical and secure way to go. Learn more about cloud computing for small businesses.