If a customer asked you about your cyber security, what would you really be able to tell them?
Would you blurt out something about a “firewall” or “SSL sockets?” Or would you be able to give your customer an informative but understandable description of what your business does to keep the information they provide you safe?
Unfortunately, many small business owners have inadequate cyber security solutions in place for their companies. This lack of security exposes both them and their customers to harmful criminal activity by malicious actors.
To evaluate your company’s cyber security, ask yourself these questions:
- Who has access to my company’s data? What do we do to protect that information? It’s important that you safeguard data such as clients’ personal information and trade secrets and patents. All data should be encrypted and protected by passwords, at the very least. You should also limit access to company data to only employees who need that information to do their jobs.
- Am I regularly scanning with anti-virus and anti-malware programs? This ought to be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses fail to perform this most basic and easy computer security task. All businesses should have anti-virus and/or anti-malware programs installed and updated.
- Is my internet connection secure? All small businesses should safeguard their connection by using a firewall and encryption. For companies that use Wi-Fi networks, this is especially important. Hide your Wi-Fi network so it does not broadcast the network name and also be sure to use a strong password for your router.
- Is my information backed up? Business owners should periodically back up data on all company computers. Important data to back up include databases, spreadsheets, human resources information, accounts payable/receivable files, etc. You can set your computers to automatically back up data. Store backups to the cloud so you can recover information in the event of a disaster.
- How secure is my payment processing? Small business owners should work with banks and payment processing companies to make sure they are using adequate anti-fraud protections. Business owners should also ensure that devices sued to process payments are not used to surf the internet, as this would make them more vulnerable to hacking.
- Are my employees trained? People are often the weakest link in cyber security. Be sure to adequately train all staff in best practices for securing networks and other computing resources. Teach them proper password protection procedures and also inform them of your policy regarding storage media such as flash drives and personal devices.
- Have I had a cyber security audit? Cyber security professionals can audit your IT infrastructure and business practices and find vulnerabilities and suggest fixes. It’s a worthwhile investment to make.
If you think your company is too small for hackers to notice, you’re dead wrong. About half of all cyber-attacks are now aimed at small businesses. Start practicing better security and schedule a cyber security audit to beef up your business’s protection against hacking.
Alamom, a woman-owned security consulting firm, can protect your business from online risks as well as physical dangers. Learn why businesses across multiple industries trust Alamom for their security and safety assessment and support.