Many small businesses don’t have the time to dedicate to extensive cybersecurity efforts or even know where to begin. A study by the U.S. Small Business Administration showed that 88% of small business owners thought that their business was at risk, but they hadn’t taken any preventative steps.

Let’s go over 8 ways you can protect your small business from cyberattacks.

Conduct A Review

Conducting a thorough review of your existing cyber security can help to identify any areas that need improvement and ways to continue vital services in the event of an operational crisis. The Department of Homeland Security has a free, online, customized assessment you can use or you could seek assistance from a local cybersecurity firm.

Train Your Staff

Training your staff on basic security standards is more important than ever. Cyber security training helps your employees to understand the vulnerabilities the company faces, how to spot them, and what the appropriate steps are if they encounter a threat. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has cybersecurity training & exercises that you can use to conduct effective cyber security training.

Establish A Cyber Security Policy

Create a cyber security policy that outlines rules regarding password requirements, email security measures, handling of sensitive data, handling of technology, standards for social media and internet usage, and more. Include the process of handling a cyber threat and cyber attack as well as any penalties for violating the policy.

Strengthen Your Software

Install security software on all devices used within your business. Make sure to keep your software up to date by completing regular updates.

Back Up Data

Create a system for regularly storing electronic copies of vital business data. Consider what type of data could harm your business if compromised, data such as spreadsheets, data bases, financial files, human resources information, client information, etc. Look into automated storage via a cloud or back up hard drive.

Clean Up Your Security

Reduce the risk of viruses by conducting regular scans for vulnerabilities. The Department of Homeland Security offers a vulnerability scan that delivers weekly reports regarding any issues. It rates which vulnerabilities are severe and requires immediate action.

Draft A Recovery Plan

Creating an action plan for the event that a cyber attack does happen is vital in recovery efforts. Outline what steps you would take and the timeline of said steps including disconnecting any affected computers, notifying IT staff and/or third-party vendors, reporting to law enforcement, and notifying lawyers.

Purchase Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability insurance is coverage designed to cover data loss and system damage, business interruption, crisis management, notification expenses, regulatory investigation expenses, and content liability. To learn more about cyber liability insurance or to explore your options today, give us a call at 844-GANNONS or visit www.gannonassociates.com.

As a small business owner, you have worked extremely hard to build a successful business.  The last thing you want is to see all of that hard work be threatened by a cyber-attack. It used to be thought that only big corporations were at risk, but the reality is that cyber-attacks are on the rise, and everyone is at risk. Taking some preventative steps could make all the difference.