Just because you own a small business doesn’t mean you’re immune to a cyberattack. No matter the size of your company, if you conduct any business online, you’re at risk of an attack. However, there are many things you can do to protect your business and customer data.
- Train employees on security practices and policies. Your employees should know and understand your company’s Internet use guidelines, penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies, and how to handle and protect customer information and other vital data.
- Keep your computers clean. Install the latest security software, web browser, and operating system on all your company computers and laptops. Also, make sure you set a time to scan for anti-virus and anti-malware software regularly.
- Provide firewall security for your Internet connection. A firewall keeps your network protected from outside intrusions. It’s essential to keep it updated and enabled at all times. If employees work from home, make sure they have a firewall protecting their home system(s) as well.
- Secure your Wi-Fi network. If you offer Wi-Fi at your workplace, make sure it’s secure, encrypted, and hidden from outside intruders. Ask your technology expert to help you find ways to keep your Wi-Fi network hidden and protect access to your router as well.
- Create back-up copies of all essential data. Regularly back up all critical data on your computers, including documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resource files, and other account information. It’s best to back up data automatically at least weekly and store copies offsite or in the cloud (protected by a password).
- Manage the security of mobile devices. If you use mobile devices to hold or manage confidential information, it’s critical you require users to password-protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install any security app to prevent criminals from stealing data. Additionally, make sure your employees understand how to report a lost or stolen mobile device.
- Limit physical access to your computers. Create a user account for each employee and be sure all computers and laptops lock automatically when unattended. Require employees to use strong passwords to access computers and to change them often — experts recommend changing your passwords at least every three months (at a minimum). Additionally, only allow administrative access to key personnel.
While this is not a complete list, it’s a great way to start protecting your business. And your diligence in protecting your business and customer data today will help you limit your chances of a cybersecurity attack in the future.