Whether it’s online marketing, e-commerce, remote networking or other cyber portals, so much business today is done via the internet that an online presence will always be a major, and virtually mandatory, aspect of your company’s infrastructure. Unfortunately, any online presence puts you at risk of hacking—online attacks that can range from pranks and tampering to crippling shutdowns and even worse: security breaches, which can leak individual identity information, companywide financial data and more.
You may think that your company is too small to attract attention from cyber criminals, but the truth is that any company is at risk. And in fact, larger companies in today’s online universe employ IT security specialists as a matter of course, which means that smaller companies with fewer employees tend to leave themselves open to online attack. No matter your business’s size or location, if you don’t have a cyber security plan in place, your company is a sitting duck.
Even if you have established an online security protocol for your business, maintaining your online safety requires constant diligence and upgrades.
A comprehensive cyber security program will not only mitigate immediate risks; it also establishes a system that can be monitored and updated as needed as your company—and its risks—evolve.
Some cyber security actions your company should address include
For more information on protecting your company from cyber threats, visit the
Broad-spectrum barricading: Putting a firewall in place to secure all of your internet connections from outside interference.
Current operating systems: Software companies regularly update their programs to improve security (among other things). By making sure your company’s e-tools are up-to-date, you’re lessening the chances that hackers can take advantage of known weaknesses in your software.
Employee online guidelines: Creating an individual user account for each employee allows you to track activity within your company’s operations—and limit, eliminate or correct that activity as needed. Each account can be customized to have access only to the parts of the system pertinent to that employee’s duties, thereby protecting systems from accidental security rifts while centralizing control over the whole system to a minimum number of people. Requiring employees to create strong passwords and to change those passwords on a regular basis further reduces the extent to which accounts can be compromised.
U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Cybersecurity for Small Businesses” training module here.