Cyber attacks aren’t just a worry for global corporations. According to the NSBA (National Small Business Association) about 44% of small businesses surveyed experienced a cyber attack and the cost was close to $9,000. That’s no surprise. Businesses today have more resources online just to stay competitive. More businesses use laptops (84% today compared with 67% two years ago), and more let employees telecommute to work.
How to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks can run you out of business and it is up to you to prevent them.
Firewall Your Systems
If you don’t have a sound firewall, your business is vulnerable to a range of different types of cyber attacks. An anonymous hacker can access your files, data, and even bank accounts from just about anywhere in the world and it is nearly impossible to catch them.
Installing a firewall is the first line of defense against these attacks. Firewalls protect your intranet from outside attacks and prevent others from logging into your computers from the internet. Don’t forget to install anti-virus and anti-malware software, as cyber criminals can easily load a virus onto your computers.
Encrypt Your Files
Simple programs exist to encrypt your files. In fact, Windows offers an encryption program. If your information is simply sitting on a server, encrypt it to make it more difficult for cyber attackers to steal that information. Encrypting takes time but it’s a step worth taking.
Teach Employees Safe Practices
Train your employees on safe networking and computer practices to protect your data. If employees carry data on laptops or cell phones, teach them to password-protect those devices and use complicated passwords with numbers, letters and special characters.
Make employees aware of the potential for a cyber attack. Teach them to keep laptops safe and always within their sight. Cyber criminals steal mobile devices and then mine the data, passwords and other useful IT information.
Instruct employees to not open unknown emails or links on social networking sites or in unauthorized emails. Let employees open their own personal emails through connections outside of the office.
Secure Your WiFi
Use only a secure wireless connection in your office. Set up an SSDI key for access to your network. This prevents hackers from logging on via your WiFi. An unsecured wireless network is like leaving your door wide open to hackers.
Back Up Your Business
A study by the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee found that 20% of cyber crimes targeted companies with under 250 employees, and 60% of small businesses closed after an attack. Backing up all your files will help keep you afloat if an attack should occur. Back up files either on another server, hard drive, or cloud server through a third-party service. Backing up nightly is the smartest way to organize your data.
Also, consider a virtual environment for added security. This creates different servers for different parts of your data, making hacking all more difficult.
Lock Everything Up
The best cyber security is an age-old invention… lock and key. Lock up your server room and computers so thieves can not break in, steal laptops and mine data from them.