Most small business owners think they have their digital security under control because they have a firewall or because they use a spam filter on their email. But the reality is, you’re more likely than not nowhere close to covering everything. In fact, 58 percent of malware attack victims are small businesses. Full protection is layered and multifaceted, requiring that your small business is covered by at least six basic security items.
Small Business Security Basics
When cyber criminals steal login information, especially to email accounts, they can request information from your business’s clients while pretending to be you and take from your company's hard-earned profits. It's vital to store passwords in a secure platfrom that cannot be accessed by cyber criminals.
Despite all the attention given to increasingly sophisticated hacking techniques, employee negligence is a leading cause of cyber security breaches. Make sure your employees (and you) are equipped with the knowledge and tools to protect the business.
Network security procedures begin with a firewall. Effective network security measures form a barrier and target known threats for early resolution. These measures will likely be a combination of firewalls, antivirus, and encryption solutions along with other top-line security tools. Behind the scenes, you will likely want to implement protocols like SSL (secure sockets layer) and TLS (transport layer security) to secure communications between web servers and browsers, or utilize VPNs (virtual private networks), proxy applications, and data compression approaches.
With 2–15% of all hard drives failing every year through normal use, it’s imperative to back up your system. In the event of a server outage, backed-up data is critical for recovery and continued business operations. Off-site backups are particularly important in the event of a physical threat to the cloud servers, such as a fire or other natural disasters. By copying critical data to more than one server, businesses can ensure that even if one fails, they can minimize disruption and protect critical data.
Phishing attacks are among the most common cyber attacks using email communications. Phishing emails bait employees into sharing sensitive information by using an authentic-looking email message, address, and sender profile. Phishing is the number one vehicle for malware attacks simply because it’s effective. ZDNet.com reported one study in which almost a quarter of users clicked a malicious link in an email that appeared to be from a friend.
Advanced web filtering systems prevent your computer from reaching harmful websites. These filters keep an up-to-the-second "blacklist" on every known malicious website that might be host to viruses and other undesirables, so an unintentional click on a well-disguised phishing link won't lead to catastrophe.
A comprehensive strategy prohibits the things viruses like to do and keeps them from the places they like to install.
As a business owner, you need a specialist to help you do this. Although this basic package of layered security may seem simple, it’s not easy to implement, and it’s unlikely you will be able to manage it on your own with the proper policies and behaviors in place to prevent viruses in the first place.
The good news is you can find a comprehensive, highly-effective package for small business security at a low cost.
How to Keep Up
Even the best efforts at securing your company’s online activities require constant vigilance and upgrading of security systems. Cyber criminals are continuously developing ever more sophisticated and clever methods of installing malware and stealing proprietary and personal data. As a managed IT services provider, Dymin Systems brings cyber security expertise to help businesses of all sizes stay up to date and secure their computers, networks, and data.