October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. With the increasing prevalence of cybercrime in small businesses, it is crucial to be aware of the risks and take the necessary actions. The following statistics were reported by Small Biz Trends:
- Nearly 43% of cyber attacks target small and medium-sized businesses.
- Only 14% of targeted small businesses are prepared to handle cyber attacks.
- Costs of cybercrime are expected to increase by 15% over the next few years, reaching $10.5 trillion by 2025.
The following tips can help small business owners avoid cyber attacks:
Secure Networks and Databases
Set up firewalls and encrypt information to help protect your networks and reduce the risk of hackers gaining access to confidential information. Ensure your Wi-Fi network is password-protected and hidden. Databases provide companies with a central location for data and documents, but they should not be used to store any and all information. Be selective about the data stored in company databases. Set automatic backups to occur once a day or once a week, depending on the level of activity. This can help protect you against losing all your company’s data should a cyber attack occur.
Establish Security Policies and Practices
Set up policies to protect your company from cybercrime, along with guidelines for resolving any issues that may arise. Outline how situations should be handled and the consequences for employees violating these policies.
Control access to company devices. Prevent access by unauthorized users to handheld devices and company computers. Laptops and cell phones can be easily lost or stolen, which makes them targets for cyber theft. Before disposing of devices, reset them to the factory settings.
Educate Your Employees on Cyber Security
Employees are essential in protecting and securing information about the company, its customers, and their co-workers. Talk to them about the role they play. Explain company policies and what practices are acceptable and unacceptable. To minimize the risk of downloading viruses or malware, limit the number of users within the company who have administrative access.
Train employees to distinguish real notifications from fake antivirus warning messages. Alert IT immediately if anything questionable occurs. Have a policy in place for steps to be taken if an employee’s computer becomes infected with a virus. Malware obtains information by getting onto devices via the internet, email, social media, downloads, and attachments. Key-logging malware tracks everything a user types on his or her keyboard. Keep security software updated to help prevent malware from getting onto your company’s system and networks.
Consider Cyber Liability Insurance
Cyber liability insurance is a combination of coverages that protect businesses from data breaches and other cyber security issues. It can cover costs associated with notifying customers of data breaches, recovering compromised data, repairing damaged computer systems, and helping replace lost income due to a cyber incursion. Meet with our experienced agent for help finding cyber liability insurance at the best available rates.