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Small Business Cyber Security in 2016  

April 28, 2016 by Ed Becker


Small Business Cyber Security in 2016Cyber security breaches are not just against large corporations; it just happens that those are the incidents that are reported in the media. In reality small businesses are prime targets for cyber-attacks from competitors, hackers, even an angry ex-employee or customer. Small businesses are easier targets because they have less security of their websites, networks and accounts.

According to Symantec, they have seen a 300% increase in small business cyberattacks since 2012. Not only are smaller businesses less likely to have higher security, they are also a backdoor to larger corporations. If you have large companies as customers or vendors, you could be at risk as an entry point.

The larger risk for small businesses is that the laws that secure personal bank accounts are not the same as commercial bank accounts. If you personally get hacked or have fraudulent charges, the bank will credit your account and work with you to safe guard it. If you are a commercial account, the bank may or may not reimburse the full amount. Their defense is that their security measures meet federal requirements, so the blame falls on your company’s lack of security. For small business owners this could be financially devastating.

Steps to increase your cyber security

  • Create action plans- require that any users of your network are password protected, ensure that your network is encrypted, update security apps even on personal devices used on the network.
  • Backup- setup a regular schedule to back up data. Saves backups not only in the cloud but also offsite in an external drive or computer.
  • Control access- create profiles for regular users of your equipment. Do not leave devices or computers where they can be easily accessed, and ensure they are pass-coded.
  • Training- ensure that your staff is trained on security prevention, and that you update training regularly. Ensure that staff knows how to securely process card transactions.
  • Limited authorization- employees should be limited, by need, to what equipment and data they can access. Not all your employers should have unlimited access, if there is a field that they never need to access, for security reasons they shouldn’t be able to.
  • Updated systems- keep your equipment up to date and all of your security programs updated.

Cost friendly cybersecurity solutions

  • org- offers resources and tools to protect businesses, employees, customer data and other online attacks.
  • org-creates extremely strong passwords either automatically or you can generate and then customize it with your own flare.
  • Symantec for small business- Reasonable cost security tools to protect equipment, data loss and performs automated backups and recovery.
  • FCC small biz cyber planner 2.0- offers a customized cybersecurity plan for your company with expert advice.
  • Lookout mobile security- Cyber security for mobile devices, especially necessary for BYOD companies.

Cloud-based options with security

  • VeriFyle- encrypts your files to keep them secure in storage. Each individual file is encrypted, rather than in a library. It is user friendly; they assert you do not need an IT person to manage it.
  • Duo- Designed to reduce data breach risks with access security.
  • Spanning- securely archives your data in the cloud. It backups all of the data stored in your cloud-based apps in case of a data breach or attack.

Cybersecurity is a huge issue for small businesses and a large concern for customers. Keeping up to date on your equipment and ensuring that you have cyber security tools and best practices in place allows you to assure your customers they are as safe as possible doing business with you.

The suggestions in this article are by no means all-inclusive of what is best or available. Talking to advisors and professionals about your security needs and budget will ensure that you have the best security that you can afford.



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