Are You Keeping Up with Your Business Cybersecurity Needs?

By Bridget Pollack | July 7. 2016

The increased connectivity provided by the internet has vastly changed the way we do business. But while most of the effects are for the better — ease of information exchange, ecommerce capabilities and customer service come to mind — there are still negative aspects small business owners should know about.

Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats businesses of all sizes face. More than 75 percent of data breaches target small and medium-sized businesses which can cause major havoc for your business operations. Sixty percent of small businesses affected by cybercrime will close within six months of the breach, according to a study by McAfee.

Here are a few tips for protecting your business from cybercrime.

Protect Your Business

First and foremost: Create and maintain a secure network for your business operations. A password may seem second nature for log-on, but do you have a firewall? Only twenty percent of small businesses have network security encryption. Contact your internet service provider to check on your security options, and find out where your network protection may be falling short.

Next, talk with your employees about keeping your business safe. They should create strong passwords for work-related accounts, and avoid completing personal tasks on company computers to reduce vulnerability.

Resist the urge to provide your Wi-Fi password to customers or visitors; if you wish to offer Wi-Fi to visitors, create a second network for guest use.

Finally, encourage your staff to backup data regularly, either to a cloud service, to a backup hard drive or both. Consider scheduling a regular backup day each week to get employees in the habit.

Protect Your Customers

Once you’ve taken steps to protect your business from cybercrime, it’s time to extend that protection to your customers. For the most part, your attention to cybersecurity to protect your business will flow over to your customers as well. But even the most web-savvy customers may need reassurance.

Be sure to communicate your online safety policies and measures to your customers especially if you’re offering ecommerce services. Be open with customers who may have questions about the security of their orders or personal information, and welcome discussion.

Don’t Let Your Small Business Get Complacent

One of the toughest parts of avoiding cybercrime is keeping up with the changing landscape of how we do business online. By keeping up with business news, you’ll help yourself stay aware of potential threats to your cybersecurity system.

Not sure if you’re doing enough — or the right things — to protect your small business? Get in touch with a SCORE mentor who can help you review your practices.

Originally posted at https://www.sba.gov/blogs/are-you-keeping-your-business-cybersecurity-needs by Bridget Pollack in SBA Blogs, “Are You Keeping Up with Your Business Cybersecurity Needs?”. Published on July 7, 2016, Accessed on July 18, 2016.

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