Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses

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Modern day businesses of all sizes and locations use the Internet to reach new and larger markets. Because of this, more and more business are using computer-based tools in order to work more efficiently. From cloud computing, to just using email and a website, all companies should consider cyber security as part of their plan.

Having a strategy to protect your business, your customers, and their data from cyber security threats is key when using powerful broadband and information technology. When digital theft is the most commonly reported fraud, even more than physical fraud, creating a culture of security will enhance overall business and consumer confidence.

Here are 10 tips to ensure your business is secure from an outside cyber attack:

10 Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses

1. Train employees in security standards

Establish basic security practices such as requiring strong passwords, and provide specifics on how to handle and protect customer information or other vital data. Prepare guidelines for appropriate internet use and include details on penalties for violating company cyber security policies.

2. Keep your machines clean

Using the latest security software, web browser and operating systems are standard for preventing against viruses, malware and other online threats. Managing your antivirus software settings to run after each update and installing software updates as soon as possible can protect your information and computers from cyber attacks.

3. Provide firewall security for your internet connection

A firewall is a network security device that prevents outsiders from data on a private network. Make sure your operating system’s firewall is enabled for all users. Don’t forget to check with any employees that work from home to ensure their home system is protected by a firewall as well.

4. Create an action plan for mobile devices

Mobile devices are often looked over, yet can create significant security challenges. Mobile devices often hold confidential information that can easily be accessible to the corporate network. Require users to password-protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the device is on a public network. Be sure to set up procedures for lost or stolen equipment.

5. Backup all important data and information

Regularly backup your data on all computers. Word documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and account receivable/payable files are all considered critical data for a business. However, setting up a system to backup these items automatically or at least weekly, and store these copies either offsite or on the cloud, can help protect your important data.

6. Control access to computers with user accounts and passwords

Prevent physical access to business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops especially are a common target for criminals as they can easily be left around or lost. Ensure each employee has their own user account on computers and require strong passwords to be used. Only give admin privilege to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks

If you have Wi-Fi at your workplace, make sure it is secure, encrypted and hidden. In order to hide your Wi-Fi, installing a Service Set Identifier (SSID) to your wireless access or router will ensure it does not broadcast the network name. Protect access to the router with a password.

8. Utilize best practices for card payments

Ensure the most trusted and anti-fraud services are being used when working with banks or credit card processors. Isolate payment systems from other less secure programs, and don’t use the same computer to process payments and surf the internet.

9. Limit authority and employee access to information

Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Employees should only be given the information and data needed to access their specific systems needed for their jobs. They should not be able to install any software without permission.

10. Passwords and authentication

Employees should be using unique passwords and be required to change them every three months. Consider implementing a multi-factor authentication that requires additional information besides the password in order to gain entry. Check with vendors and financial institutions to see if they offer multi-factor authentications for your account.

If any of this seems like something your business is lacking, consider OrangeTech to help you provide a streamlined IT solution!

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