Businesses, no matter how small or large, are at risk of cyber attacks twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Today, businesses rely on the internet. In fact, 97 percent of small businesses use email and 74 percent have websites. According to the 2012 National Small Business Study, 77 percent of businesses say their company is safe from cyber threats, yet 83 percent of them do not have a formal cyber security plan. So, in reality, 77 percent of business only think that they are safe from the countless cyber threats that recklessly roam our internet every second of every day. The NSBA determined that the average financial hit is almost nine thousand dollars when a company becomes a victim of an attack. That being said, why not take the following simple steps to decrease your chance of becoming an easy target?
- Implement a password length/strength that requires 8+ characters, containing upper & lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
- Don’t use identical passwords for multiple pages/accounts.
- Require frequent password changes/updates every 90 days.
- Advise employees to keep passwords in secure location.
Log off policies
- Instruct employees to log off company pages while away from their desk.
- Implement a session time out function to company hardware.
Limited employee access
- Allow employees access to only necessary information having to do with their job description.
- Restrict access to crucial company data and employee information.
- Daily backup of important company information in case of a breach.
- Regularly verify/test that the data has been restored properly.
Steps to implement as your business grows
- Designate a job/person to handle security and preparedness.
- Control network access using administrator accounts, firewalls, and proxy servers, while updating software regularly.
- Secure computers and data with antivirus software and update frequently.
With the advancement of technology comes heightened technological risk. Cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming rate, targeting almost three out of four small businesses. Putting a security plan in place will dramatically decrease company risk. Take CNN’s quick, ten question quiz here and see how careful or careless you are with your online behavior.
For more information regarding safety and security, do not hesitate to contact the Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.