Despite significant cyber security exposures, 85% of small business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a data breach. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber attacks.
In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. Symantec’s study found that 43% of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 250 employees.
CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO HAVE CYBER INSURANCE?
Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling victim to a costly cyber attack:
1. Train employees in cyber security principles.
2. Install, use and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business.
3. Use a firewall for your internet connection.
4. Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available.
5. Make backup copies of important business data and information.
6. Control physical access to your computers and network components.
7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace make sure it is secure and hidden.
8. Require individual user accounts for each employee.
9. Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software.
10. Regularly change passwords.
In addition to the listed tips, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a tool for small businesses that can create and save a custom cyber security plan for your company, choosing from a menu of expert advice to address your specific business needs and concerns. It can be found at www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner.
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