Secure It: Tips to make your business more secure
Cybersecurity • Disaster Planning • Insuring Property, People, Ideas
Here’s a bit of sobering news: According to the FBI, Florida ranks No. 3 in the nation for cybercrime incidents.
Now if you think your business is too small to become the next victim or that you don’t have anything worth stealing, think again. According to a 2016 report by Symantec, 43% of all such attacks worldwide were targeted at small businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Perhaps even more concerning, the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60% of small companies are unable to sustain their business over six months following a cyberattack.
Still think your small business is safe? The Florida Small Business Development Center Network doesn’t think so either. Which is why FSBDC has launched a new cybersecurity initiative.
Introducing Byte-Size Small Business Cybersecurity
While no single technology or program can stop every attack, taking basic precautions can reduce a firm’s technical risk and make it a less attractive target. To help small business owners protect their intellectual and fiscal assets against online attacks, the Florida SBDC Network has partnered with the cybersecurity and risk management firm Ridge Global to create its “Byte-Size Small Business Cybersecurity Program,” a three-pronged approach to providing small businesses with ready access to no-cost training, consulting and resources for the purpose of deflecting cyberattacks.
TRAININg Aimed at helping small business owners understand the risks of cyber-attacks and how to safeguard their companies against them, FSBDC’s “Byte-Size” workshops are conducted by cybersecurity professionals and offered at no cost to participants. In class, attendees learn about basic cybersecurity threats and security remediation from experts in the field, then take home an in-depth resource guide, which includes additional information about common threats, regulatory concerns, detecting attacks, reducing vulnerabilities and crafting appropriate responses.
ONE-ON-ONE CONSULTING FSBDC professionally certified business consultants, skilled in cybersecurity issues, are available to help small business owners evaluate their firm’s potential risk, identify the cyber threats they are most likely to experience and learn best practices for proactively guarding against them. End result: a comprehensive cybersecurity plan tailored to your business at no cost.
RESOURCES The Florida SBDC Network works in partnership with various federal, state and local agencies and other organizations to provide practical resources to help small businesses meet the challenges of doing business in cyberspace. “Byte-Size” program participants enjoy access to a variety of helpful tools, including:
• Small Biz Cyberplanner from the FCC that allows you to create your own customized cybersecurity plan
• Cyber Resilience Review: Self-Assessment Package from the Department of Homeland Security
• Cyber Security for Small Businesses SBA online course
For additional information about these and other online resources, visit www.sba.gov/managing-business/cybersecurity
5 Ways to Improve Cybersecurity
1. Be proactive. Equip all computers with antivirus software/antispyware and update often. Safeguard your Internet connection with a firewall and encrypting information. Password protect router access on your Wi-Fi network.
2. Educate employees. Establish written policies for handling/protecting sensitive data, using social networking sites and reporting lost or stolen equipment; hold employees accountable if they violate these policies.
3. Limit entry to information and machines. Create a separate user account for each employee and restrict administrative privileges to trusted IT staff and key personnel. Use multifactor authentication (password + additional information) to gain entry, and change passwords often.
4. Create backups. Back up critical data automatically; store copies offsite or on the cloud.
5. Control physical access. Lock computers when unattended; require employees to password protect personal mobile devices that access your business network and install security apps to prevent data theft.