Do you feel your small business is secure from cyber theft and crime?
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), companies with less than 100 employees lose approximately $155,000 as a result of fraud each year. Small businesses also have a higher fraud rate than larger companies. Below are some basic considerations to protect your business from Cyber threats, however there are many more steps to take into consideration to be even more protected.
Have a password Policy
A password policy is one of the easiest, and least expensive way to protect your IT systems. Be sure your employees are changing their passwords regularly, every 60-90 days is a good rule. Set rules to ensure your passwords are complex, for example contain one upper case letter, one number and a minimum of 8 characters. Also use different passwords for different online and system accounts.
Educate your staff
According to Cisco’s 2012 Annual Security Reports Survey 40% of employees said they are unaware of IT security policies that are in place. Employees are possibly your biggest point of vulnerability when it comes to fraud, but they are also your first line of defense. Regular training sessions on basic security threats should be held, for both new hires and seasoned staff. You should institute policies to enforce training to guide employees on the proper use of handling confidential information.
Encrypt your data
Anytime you are storing or sending important data, it is critical that it is encrypted. Even if your information is stolen, a hacker likely will not be able to read any of this valuable information that they had stolen. Also this will prevent a hacker from stealing your data and encrypting it and holding the information hostage.
Be smart about web browsing and email security
When on the web, be sure that you are only going to websites that you are sure are legitimate. Also be sure you are not accidentally typing in the wrong address and landing on a site that may cause problems. Your email filtering system should keep your inbox clean for the most part, if you are unsure of an email though, be very careful and do not click anything.
As referenced above, a Cyber breach can be very costly to small businesses, so taking the right steps to protect your organization is very critical to stay up and running.