Cyber Security Best Practices for the Small Business (Part 1 of 2)
With hackers increasingly targeting businesses of all sizes and in various industries, it’s important to take stock of your cyber security practices. How does your company stack up? What are your plans if you were hit by a cyber attack? If you can’t readily come up with solid answers for those questions, you could be underestimating your risks.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the importance of small businesses protecting their data against cyber threats is critical. Not only do they have valuable information that criminals could target, including employee and customer data and bank account information, small businesses also can be targeted because they’re often in the supply chain for larger corporations.
“Smaller employers are an attractive target for cyber criminals,” the SBA said in a news release highlighting National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October. “As a small business owner, now is the time to take stock of your cyber security health.”
Here are 5 of the tips the Federal Communications Commission and the SBA suggest to help protect your company against cyber threats:
- Update your antivirus software regularly. One of the first lines of defense is protecting your company’s data against viruses and other malicious code through antivirus software. Make sure you are updating it regularly by configuring the software to install updates automatically.
- Secure your networks. Use a firewall and encryption to safeguard your Internet connection. Make sure you set up password access to the router.
- Enforce security practices and policies. Most companies have established company policies to ensure that sensitive information is protected. If you have a policy, and hopefully you do, make sure you clearly outline the consequences if employees violate it and then carry them out, if necessary. Also, include policies on the use of social networks.
- Regularly educate employees about cyber threats. Employees may not be fully aware of the risks associated with cyber threats unless you take the time to educate them. Make it a quarterly or a biannual update. Perhaps, you can highlight some of the cyber attacks making the news. It can be sobering to see how damaging they can be to businesses.
- Change passwords often. In addition to requiring employees to use strong passwords, consider adopting a multi-factor authentication process that requires additional information beyond a password. The FCC recommends changing passwords every three months.
When you’re ready to explore the data center solutions that equip you to protect your company against cyber threats, including outsourcing your data center, contact Lifeline Data Centers. We help companies of all sizes with colocation solutions.