Small Businesses Need to Worry about Cybersecurity More Than Ever

June 21, 2017

7:15 am

There’s no doubt that cybersecurity needs to be at the top of the list for businesses. Maybe you’ve experienced a cyberattack first hand or at a minimum aware of cyber criminals who took personal data from websites like Twitter and LinkedIn and even the U.S. Department of Justice.

Small businesses may look at how hackers are attacking large businesses and the government and conclude that they are protected by their obscurity. However, small businesses are generally more attractive to cyber criminals as they represent easier targets and take extra precautions to secure their data. The effect of such an attack can be far more devastating to small businesses as they may not have the funds to pay for damages from lost data.

Now is the time for small businesses to worry about cybersecurity more than ever and persuade criminals to look for an easier target. This means coming up with a plan for how to protect your business’s data and what to do in the event of a breach.

Train Your Employees

Cybersecurity is no longer the responsibility of one tech expert, but of every worker in the company. Businesses should train their workers on safe tech policies, and an open communications environment to ensure that the programs are working and that the workers know what to do in case they face potential phishing, ransomwear or other attacks. As security experts told The Guardian, your business should create “an environment where staff are confident in challenging requests that don’t look right.”

Study: Does anyone actually care about cybersecurity? 

Physical Security and Data

Cybercrime does not just take on the form of shadowy outsiders breaking into computers with elite tech skills. Sensitive data can be published or leaked by disgruntled insiders to catastrophic results. It’s important to have a smart data protection plan where you can lock up files and doors at night to prevent illegal access, and only give employees data on a need to know basis.

Password Protection

Passwords are a ubiquitous part of cyber protection, but too many individuals still use awful passwords like “password” or “123456” which hackers can trivially guess. Businesses need to promote good password policies and require that worker passwords contain a combination of lower and upper case letters, and have workers reset passwords regularly.

Policies like these help, but business have to look at stronger protections such as multi-factor authentication and a password manager such as One Password.

What to do When Breached

Unfortunately, no security system is totally foolproof and a breach may occur regardless. A moment like that requires prompt and decisive action. Your company needs to be on point to explain to customers what went wrong and how it will be fixed. Honesty and a quick response can sometimes cause your company to gain good will as it shows that you are committed to rapidly fixing this mistake.

Furthermore, contact the authorities and a lawyer with a cybercriminal background when breached. The former can glean more details about the incident, while the latter will help protect your businesses from customers and associates angry at the fact that their private information could now be at risk.

Read more about cybersecurity and protecting your business at Tech.Co

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