Interconnectivity and running a successful business go hand-in-hand. In today’s digital world, technology is not only something that is impossible to avoid, but also a tool that makes daily operations much more efficient. However, increased use of technology also leads to serious risks due to large amounts of sensitive information being stored on devices and sent across networks. Not all organizations have the funds to invest in sophisticated security software and even the ones that do are not invulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to access this vulnerable data leaving no one completely safe. Not to mention, small businesses are becoming popular targets for these criminals due to inadequate cybersecurity measures. However, there are some inexpensive yet crucial steps that small businesses must make to reduce the risks of cyberattacks and data breaches:
- Identify All Sensitive Data: Companies need to know exactly where sensitive information is stored and that it is properly protected. If this data is spread across an organization’s network, much of it may be left vulnerable without anyone knowing.
- FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner: Hiring an outside firm to protect your business from cyber threats can be expensive. Another option is to use the FCC’s Small Biz Cyber Planner which can help determine necessary cybersecurity strategies.
- Antivirus Software: A large portion of cyberattacks and data breaches occur from spyware, viruses, and other malicious codes. Installing antivirus software to protect sensitive information is a good first step in preventing these occurrences.
- Securing Smartphones: Anyone can go out and by a mobile phone spy program which can be used to steal sensitive information off smartphones. Businesses are relying more and more on smartphones to increase accessibility but it is important to use strong passwords and install security apps for added protection.
- Employee Cyber Security Rules: Create a set of rules outlining how employees must handle sensitive information and the steps they need to take to protect it.
- Limit Data Access: Keep track of who has access to sensitive information. It is pivotal to know where this sensitive information is located, but it is equally important to keep track of everyone who has access to this information.