Cybersecurity Checklist is the headline for this fifth and final post on the critical topic of cybersecurity for small businesses.
According to a recent Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) report, small businesses (SMB) are the “principal target” of cyber-attacks. Use this checklist to be sure your critical business data is protected.
Conduct a security risk assessment
Understand potential security threats (e.g., downtime from ransomware) and the impact they may have on your business (lost revenue). Use this information to shape a security strategy that meets your specific needs.
Train your employees
Because cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, an ongoing semi-annual training plan should be implemented for all employees. This should include examples of threats, as well as instruction on security best practices (e.g., lock laptops when away from your desk). Hold employees accountable.
Protect your network and devices
Implement a password policy that requires strong strong passwords. Deploy firewall, VPN and antivirus technologies to ensure your network and endpoints are not vulnerable to attacks. Consider implementing multifactor authentication. Ongoing network monitoring should also be considered essential. Encrypt hard drives.
Keep software up to date
It is essential to use up-to-date software products and be vigilant about patch management. Cyber criminals exploit software vulnerabilities using a variety of tactics to gain access to computers and data.
Create straightforward cybersecurity policies
Write and distribute a clear set of rules and instructions on cybersecurity practices for employees. This will vary from business to business but may include policies on social media use, bring your own device, authentication requirements, etc.
Back up your data
Daily backups are a requirement to recover from data corruption or loss resulting from security breaches. Consider using a modern data protection tool that takes incremental backups of data periodically throughout the day to prevent data loss.
Cyber crime is growing at a rapid rate and businesses are increasingly targeted. According to the National Small Business Association, 44% of small businesses have been the victim of a cyber-attack and the number of breaches reported per year continues to climb. A recent Juniper Research study estimates that cyber crime will cost businesses $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing by almost 4X the cost of breaches in 2015. Developing a robust, multi-layered cybersecurity strategy can save a business. Ongoing employee education and security technology will boost your front line of defense and dramatically decrease the likelihood of any breaches. Lastly, a solid, reliable backup and recovery solution is the second and most essential layer of defense, allowing businesses to quickly recover unscathed should things turn ugly.
If you would like more information on Data Backup and Disaster Recovery, download your Free Business Advisory Guide Here.
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