It’s true: large companies can be targets for cyber-attacks. We’ve heard of the attacks on Facebook and Capital One, but what about the smaller businesses? According to a recent study, two-thirds of executives believe cyber-crime won’t affect their small business. Many of these same businesses have no cybersecurity strategy plans in place at all.

Tips from the Federal Communications Commission to help small businesses protect their data

Train employees in the business’s security principles.

Every business should have basic security practices in place. For example, always use strong passwords. Implement guidelines for using the internet and rules on how to protect customer information.

It’s also important to protect information, computers and networks from cyber-attacks. Make sure the employees in your office have the latest security software on their computers. Also, only use updated web browsers and operating systems with the best defense against viruses. If software updates are available, make sure they are installed. It’s also important to provide a firewall security system for your internet connection. Do some of your employees work from home? Then, ensure their home systems are protected. 

Mobile devices can also create a significant security risk.

It is important to require users to work on password-protected devices. Create a mobile device action plan by installing security apps to prevent criminals from stealing personal information.

If it’s important information or data related to the business, make back-up copies. In any sized business, it’s crucial to back-up your data. Word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files and accounts should be backed-up. Automatically backing up the information if possible. If that is not possible, then back-ups should happen at least weekly. Also, store copies off-site.

Laptops can be an easy target for theft.

It is important to secure them when not in use. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee using a shared computer. Also, require strong passwords. Trusted IT staff and key administrative staff should be the only ones with access to the passwords. Additionally, if you have a Wi-Fi network at work, it should be secure and encrypted. You can hide your Wi-Fi network as well so it cannot be broadcasted.

With your bank, make sure the most trusted validation tools are in place.

Every bank may have different standard policies when banking with them. It is important to know what anti-fraud services are in place. It’s also important to limit which employees have access to data and information, including credit card information. Try not to always use the same computer to process payments.

Employees should only be given access to the data systems they use on a regular basis.

They should never be allowed to install system software or programs without authorization. Passwords should be unique and changed every three months. If you have questions, refer to your vendors that handle sensitive data and see if they offer multi-factor authentication.

There are many IT Professionals that can help you with your cyber security plan. By having a strong communications plan in place, it’s likely your data will be safe and secure.

At Cork Tree Creative, our web developers, Jessi and Erica, work with our clients to develop secure websites and routinely manage those sites to maintain their security. Contact us today for more information.