In this digital age, small businesses, like their larger counterparts, store data about operations, customers and employees. Much of this information is sensitive. With the growing risk of data breaches, it is critical that a cyber security plan be in place to keep your business cyber safe.
Cyberattacks or losing data can jeopardize a business’s reputation and operation. Business owners are responsible to keep their digital data safe to protect not only their employees and customers, but the business operation as well. Here are some guidelines to help protect your business from hackers and data loss and keep your digital information cyber safe.
1. Protect computers and information – The best defense against online threats such as malware and viruses is having the latest cybersecurity antivirus software installed on your business computers. You can set the antivirus system to run periodic scans that detect online threats. It is also important to install updates to the antivirus system so that it can detect the latest threats to help keep your computers safe. Also, keeping your web browser and computer operating system updated as well can help thwart threats.
2. Backup data – All digital information should be backed up on a regular basis. Such files include customer and employee privacy information, receivables/payables, databases and financial accounts. The backed up information is best securely stored in the cloud or offsite with a reliable storage firm.
4. Change passwords – You and your employees should change passwords for computers and accounts logins every few months. A good practice is to have a multi-tiered authentication where at least two sets of unique passwords are required to login to computers and accounts. Ask the financial institution who handles your financial accounts and vendors who have access to your sensitive information if they employ multi-tiered password logins.
5. Keep mobile devices secured – Company laptops, tablets and cell phones have access to sensitive business information and it is imperative these devices are protected. Your business information should be encrypted and each employee who uses the devices should have their own unique password.
6. Train employees – Your employees should be trained about cyber security such as not opening suspicious emails and attachments. Control employee access to certain information and accounts.
7. Secure your Wi-Fi – Keep your business Wi-Fi secured. Shut off or change the Service Set Identifier (SSID). This is the unique 32 character identifier that is broadcast by the Wi-Fi router. If this is not secured, a hacker can gain access to your Wi-Fi network.
Keep alert to all your digital accounts and investigate anything that looks suspicious. Your employees should also be vigilant to any changes or strange activity on your business computer system such as unusual software installations, changed passwords, or disabled antimalware. These are sure signs that your system has been hacked.
Having a cyberattack response team set up is the best and efficient way to respond to a data breach. If a breach is suspected, immediately secure the computer system. Then, conduct a thorough investigation and notify police if warranted. Determine if any liability needs to be addressed and mitigate any consequences.
If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848