Five steps that small business owners can take to protect their businesses from cyber theft and cyber attacks.
In the age of the internet, cybercrime is becoming more and more common. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to attacks, as they are increasingly being targeted by hackers who are looking to steal sensitive information or blackmail, business owners. Luckily, there are several steps that small business owners can take to protect their businesses from cyber theft. Here are five of them.
1. Keep Your Software up to Date
One of the best ways to protect your small business from cyber theft is to ensure that all of your software is up to date. Hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software, so it’s important to keep your programs updated with the latest security patches.
If you’re not sure how to do this, you can set your software to update automatically or contact the developers of your programs for instructions. In addition to updating your software, you should also update your operating system and web browser when new versions are released. This will help patch any security holes that may be present in your current version.
2. Ensure Your Employees Are Trained in Cybersecurity
Another way to protect your small business from cyber theft is to ensure your employees are trained in cybersecurity. They should know how to spot phishing emails, create strong passwords, and keep their personal information safe online.
However, it’s important to have the people in charge of your company’s cybersecurity trained and certified in the latest cybersecurity trends. For example, if your small business is a Department of Defense contractor, your IT personnel should go for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). In addition to being a priority for the Department, CMMC safeguards the enterprise from cyber theft losses that cost the country $100 billion annually and $600 billion worldwide. This equates to 1% of global GDP.
3. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Another way to protect your small business from cyber theft is to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Strong passwords should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also change your passwords regularly and never use the same password for more than one account.
In addition to using strong passwords, you should also enable two-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password. While two-factor authentication can be a hassle, keeping your accounts safe from hackers is worth it.
4. Understand Industry Specific Risks
Different industries have different types of data that are valuable to hackers. For example, industry data shows that E-commerce now accounts for around 14% of all global retail sales, making it a prime target for cybercriminals. These businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber theft because they typically store a large amount of customer data, including credit card numbers and addresses. This information can be used to commit identity theft or fraud if it falls into the wrong hands.
In 2019, the construction sector employed almost 9 million people, making it one of the largest industries in the United States. However, this industry is also at high risk for cyber theft. The type of data that construction companies typically store, such as project plans and blueprints, can be extremely valuable to hackers looking to commit industrial espionage.
To protect your small business from cyber theft, it’s important to understand the specific risks that your industry faces. This will help you take the necessary steps to safeguard your data and protect your business from attack.
5. Get Cybersecurity Insurance
Another way to protect your small business from cyber theft is to invest in cybersecurity insurance. This type of insurance can help cover the cost of data breaches, cybercrime, and other cybersecurity threats. It’s important to note that not all insurance policies are created equal, so it’s important to do your research and find a policy that meets the specific needs of your business.
While cybersecurity insurance can’t prevent cyber theft, it can help mitigate the financial damage that an attack can cause.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your small business from cyber theft. By taking the time to understand the risks your business faces and implementing the appropriate safeguards, you can help keep your business safe from attack.
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