Cyber Security Tips for Small Business Owners

Cyber Security Tips for Small Business Owners

Small business owners may not realize the risks to cybersecurity they face when they start setting up their website and utilizing other digital media. In fact, small businesses may be more likely to be targeted by certain types of cyber-attacks, since they tend to have advanced security measures in place. Since so many attacks are now automated, a hacker may find it easier to launch coordinated attacks on many small business sites than to get through the security defenses large businesses have. Knowledge is power, so here are four things you should know — presented by

Be aware of different kinds of attacks.

Some of the most common threats to cybersecurity for small businesses and individuals include phishing, malware, ransomware. Phishing is a scam in which an attacker impersonates a legitimate organization or trusted individual to gain access to data, often through getting them to click on a link or open an email. According to Forcepoint, malware is short for “malicious software” and refers to a variation of cyberattacks, the most well-known of which is a virus. Malware masquerading as legitimate software can destroy or infect a system, steal data, and open security. Ransomware is an especially dangerous type of malware: it can shut down whole systems and refuse to open them unless the owner pays out.

Be aware of what you can do to protect yourself.

A lot of internet security is basic common sense, but even when we know how to be safe, it’s easy to get careless if we’re busy or distracted. So, be conscious of simple things such as not staying logged in on shared computers, and not revealing your passwords. Other ways you can maintain cybersecurity involve routinely backing up your data to keep it safe from ransomware attacks, making sure your passwords are strong, and using multi-factor authentication for logins. Make sure you and any employees know never to use open networks and never share any private information with anyone but trusted affiliates. If any individual or institution requests private information, don’t grant it unless you’re certain they are who they claim to be.

Consult experts and professionals for increased cybersecurity.

Even after you’ve done all you can to protect your security, it’s a good idea to bring in a professional who can assist you with further security measures. You can find freelance cybersecurity professionals online, but make sure you check reviews and do cost comparisons before bringing in anyone to handle your secure and sensitive content. Make sure the person you hire is well trained, highly regarded, with a proven record of success. A good cybersecurity professional will be able to identify any weaknesses in your system and assist you with such defenses as putting in firewalls or setting up a VPN.

Be aware of any internal threats.

No matter how well protected your system is from external threats, there are other dangers to security that may come from inside your company. This could be due to carelessness — employees logging in at home or failing to use secure passwords — but it could also be deliberate. This is why it’s important to make sure any employees or affiliates are educated in cybersecurity. It’s also vital that you deal only with those who are trustworthy, and that you maintain good relationships with employees and associates.

Even if you think your business is too small or insignificant to attract a cyber-attack, remember that hackers could use your site as a portal to access larger companies you engage with. And it’s always better to err on the side of caution, especially when failure to do so could lead to tremendous loss of funds as well as of public confidence. If you are a small business owner setting up a website, visit for links and suggestions.

Written by Stephanie Haywood –

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