Cybersecurity Tips For Small Businesses – Part I

The Federal Communications Commission has published cybersecurity tips that should be a must read  for every small business owner.

Broadband and information technology are powerful factors in small businesses reaching new markets and increasing their productivity and efficiency.

However, businesses need cybersecurity tools and tactics to protect themselves, their customers and their data from growing cyber threats. Below are some key cybersecurity tips that will help you protect your business.

Train employees in security principles
– Establish basic security practices to protect sensitive information.
– Stress these practices to all employees on a regular basis.
Give each employee a list of rules you expect them to follow for handling customer information and other vital data.
Spell out the penalties for violating these rules.

Protect information, computers and networks from viruses, spyware and other malicious code
Install, use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware on every computer used in your business.
– Pick software that has regular security updates. You may have to pay a yearly update fee – It’s worth it.
– Set the software to automatically check for and install these security updates at a time you specify.
– Additionally, set the software to scan your system completely after these new updates are installed.

Provide firewall security for your Internet connection
– Firewalls prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network.
– For companies that allow employees to work from home, make sure their home computers have firewalls set.
Caution: You may have business or retail software that requires Internet access. In this situation, have a tech
   configure your firewall to allow this limited access.

Download/install software updates for your operating systems and applications are they’re available
– Vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and add features.
– Configure all software to notify you when updates are available.
– You can also set the software to automatically install the updates. Approach this with caution. It’s often better
   to check what’s been included in the latest update before installing it.

Make backup copies of important business data and information
– Regularly back up the data on all systems used in your business.
– Include financial files, human resources files, databases, accounting files, spreadsheets, word documents.
– At a minimum, do a data backup daily and a complete system backup weekly.
Store a copy of the backups off-site. Besides cybersecurity reasons, you’re protecting your self from other
  catastrophes such as fire and flood to name two.

Check back soon for Part II in what you can do to protect your business against cyberattacks.

Talk to you soon.  ~Norma

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