Small businesses need a cyber security strategy to protect their business, their customers, and their data from growing cyber security threats.

1. Passwords and authentication

Require employees to use strong, unique passwords and change passwords quarterly. Require multi-factor authentication that requires texted codes or biometrics in addition to passwords.

2. Train employees

Train employees on your company’s security policies (including creating strong passwords and internet use guidelines).  Make them aware of email phishing scams.

3. Protect information, computers, and networks from cyber attacks

Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses and malware. Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update.

4. Make backup copies of important business data

Regularly back up all critical data. The backup copies should be stored either offsite or in the cloud.

5. Control access to your computers

Prevent access to business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee. Administrative privileges should be limited to key personnel / IT staff.

6. Provide firewall security for your Internet connection

Besides a hardware firewall, make sure the operating system’s firewall is enabled. If employees work from home, ensure that their home system(s) are protected as well.  If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is encrypted (password required) and hidden. Set up your wireless router so it doesn’t broadcast the network name.

7. Employ best practices on payment cards

Work with banks or processors to ensure anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations pursuant to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and don’t use the same computer to process payments and browse the internet.

Leave a Reply