8 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks on Your Small Business

March 25, 2020 | 617 views

8 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks on Your Small Business
8 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks on Your Small Business

More than half of small businesses had some sort of data breach in the last year, costing over $200K for recovery. Are you ready for that kind of financial and reputational hit? Small businesses are at higher risk from cyber-attacks because they have fewer resources to overcome a security breach. A large corporation has more resources like a dedicated IT department, deeper pockets, and greater protections. Being small doesn’t mean that you are safe—it means you are more vulnerable.

Data security requires multiple and ongoing steps to help prevent a cyber attack on your organization. Start with these eight tactics:

  1. Developing a company culture of safety and data security is important even if you don’t have an IT expert in-house. Data security and privacy protection must be woven into the daily fabric of each employee’s expectations and actions.
  2. Limit access with a strong firewall on your internet connection to prevent any outside infiltration through that portal. These are often built into systems, but be sure to understand what it does and how.
  3. And secure each workstation’s access as appropriate by job function. Each employee must have their own unique login name and password that must be changed often. Establish password changes automatically for each workstation so that no employee has to remember to do it.
  4. Back up your business data, accounting, employee information with real-time cloud subscriptions. Even if your SMB is not hacked with malintent, data must be readily available for those inevitable times when data seems lost or corrupted.
  5. Install and update antivirus software on every possible device. Automate updates so that employees are not responsible for them.
  6. Encrypt customer personal data. If you collect personal information of any kind, it must be protected.
  7. Block unauthorized sites to limit exposure to viruses and malware (and keep employees on task). Social media sites are particularly problematic, contributing cybercrime access in nearly half of all instances.
  8. Purchase cyber liability insurance. Since the cost of a breach is crippling high, particularly for smaller companies, insure yourself against network security failure. Plans often include media loss and protection against extortion if a criminal were to access critical data.

Data problems are probably inevitable, especially given the growing rate of cybercrime, but consistent steps and updates to internal security will go a long way to prevent stolen data and compromised security. 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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