Cyber crimes can hit businesses hard and heavy – especially if your business isn’t actively taking steps to guard against them. Some small business owners may feel as though it’s an unnecessary risk but no business, large or small, is truly safe from the damages cyber crimes have to offer. These are a few practical steps you can take to help ensure your business doesn’t become yet another cyber crime statistic.
1) Back Your Information Up
Once upon a time, backing up data, and storing that data, was an expensive proposition. The widespread use and ease of using cloud technology today, however has made it an infinitely more cost-effective option for small businesses to consider. The benefits of these services make them well worth the costs and they can save you time and money in the event of an all out cyber attack on your business network.
2) Eliminate Security Vulnerabilities
The two most common security vulnerabilities include employee passwords, which are often default passwords, and a lack of security updates on employee computers. Security updates exist to help protect computers against very real and significant cyber threats. If your employees aren’t updating their computers, when the patches and updates are released, they’re leaving every computer on the network vulnerable to cyber attacks. The same holds true to employees using default or simplistic passwords. They may be easy to remember, but they’re also a first choice for savvy hackers looking for easy targets.
3) Limit Access to Delicate Information
The sad truth of business today is that cyber crimes do not always originate outside the walls of your office. Many of them come from within. Limit the access of sensitive customer information, secret formulas, and financial information to the select few people who have a direct need for access to this information and leave it at that. If you they don’t have access to this information they can’t use it to rob, extort, or embezzle funds from your business or sell to the highest bidder elsewhere.
4) Use the Latest Browsers
These are the most secure browsers available. They’ve already identified their vulnerabilities and taken corrective actions so that the people who are using them are protected from some of the most recent cyber threats. Running a 3 generation’s old copy of Windows Explorer isn’t only robbing you of the latest features the new browser has to offer, but it’s also exposing you to risks your business can’t really afford.
5) Create a Cyber Security Plan for Your Business
Of course, you must then properly train your employees to follow this new plan and use consequences for those who fail to do so. Part of your responsibility as a business owner – to yourself, your business, your customers, and your employees – is to take action to prevent things from happening that will put your business, income, information, employees, and customer trust at risk. Your cyber-security plan needs to be one that keeps this in mind above all else.
You don’t have to move heaven and earth or hire a full-time IT guy to handle all the heavy lifting for cyber security. A few no-nonsense steps, which also includes cyber liability insurance by the way, can make a world of difference for the cyber security of your business.