10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks
High-profile cyber attacks on companies such as Target (https://www.target.com/) have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime. Recent surveys conducted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/cyber security) suggest that many small business owners are still operating under a false sense of cyber security based on their company’s size.
When it comes to cyber attacks, small does not equate with safe. In fact, a cyber attack could be even more detrimental to a small business than to a large corporation. The National Cyber Security Alliance (https://staysafeonline.org/) reports that 60 percent of small and mid-sized businesses go out of business within six months of an attack.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures (https://cybersecurityventures.com/), costs related to ransomware demands and damages is estimated to reach $20 billion per year by 2021. Can your company afford the costs, loss of productivity, and public relations fallout associated with a cyber attack?
Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, you should take action to help reduce your risk of falling victim to a cyber attack.
- Train employees, emphasizing confidentiality and integrity.
- Install, use, and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on all business computers and devices.
- Use a firewall for your internet connection to prevent unauthorized private network access.
- Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as available.
- Make frequent backup copies of important business data and information.
- Control physical access to your computers and network components based on need and job responsibilities.
- Secure your wi-fi networks and create a secondary connection for visitors.
- Require individual user accounts for each employee to eliminate sharing login information and unintentionally exposing access to uninvited users.
- Limit employee access to data and information and restrict authority to install software.
- Regularly change and securely store passwords.