4 Defensive Measures Against Cybercrime
Evidence that criminals are targeting the computer systems of small businesses continues to grow. Many small businesses don’t realize that, regardless of location, they can be the target of cyber-attacks.
With that in mind, below are four tips that small businesses can use to help prevent cyber-attacks.
Know what you are defending
Many small businesses don’t have a clear picture of where their computerized data resides. If this is the case, have a meeting between management and IT staff (or your service provider) to review the following:
· Data that comes into your location such as orders or customer information.
· Data that you create and store such as sales history, inventory or employee information.
· Data that is allowed or required to leave your location such as reports, credit card data or payroll information.
In addition to this “data audit”, you need to perform a “network audit” so that you know what equipment is on your network and what devices are connecting to the internet or phone lines. (e.g. do you have people logging in remotely?).
When you get a clear picture of where the sensitive data is and who has access to it, then you can put rules in place.
A written information security policy or plan is essential in today’s climate. It may be required by law – such as health information. If you have a policy in place, it can be a real “positive”. That is because many larger companies are requiring them from smaller companies that they do business with.
Enforce the rules
Having a security policy is only effective if you enforce it. That includes sanctioning people who violate the policies but also educating your employees about what the rules are. Education should be an ongoing process – not a “once and done” event. Reminders – refreshers – whatever you want to call it, it’s important that you make sure your employees are aware of both the policies and the consequences for violating them.
Start with stronger passwords
This sounds like a very low tech tip but it has high rewards. And if you’re running CounterPoint software, you’re already ahead of the game. You already know that CounterPoint SQL requires strong passwords. But don’t stop there. Make sure everyone knows to use strong passwords on all of their devices (smart phones, tablets, anything that can access your system). Also change default passwords on routers and other hardware that requires password use.
If you follow these four tips consistently, you may not prevent everything but you will prevent the great majority of cyber-attacks aimed at small businesses.
Talk to you soon. ~Norma (Excerpted from a Tech Brief by ESET)