Small businesses are not off the radar when it comes to cyber attacks. In fact, because larger companies are becoming increasingly more concerned about cyber security, small businesses are actually a main and easy target for online assault.
Symantec, a company designed to provide technological security, reports that forty percent of cyber attacks are directed at small businesses with less than 500 employees. Such a large risk merits concern; and it is important to learn the facts to protect your company.Computer hackers can be tricky and target a variety of weak spots you may be unaware of, such as computers without firewalls, improperly installed networks, and bugged browsers that allow hackers to access your information. They also sometimes rely on active viruses, which require you to take action in order for them access your information. For example, they can hide viruses in your email attachments, downloads, website images, and free software. They are also capable of manipulating weak passwords to their advantage.
What can you and your employees do to protect your business from cyber attacks?
- Download the latest firewalls and anti-virus software.
- Update your browser regularly.
- Use caution when clicking on downloads, images, and attachments.
- Make backup copies of important information.
- Don’t open suspicious emails; check the email address for legitimacy and, if need be, call the source to make sure they are actually the sender.
- Select a strong password and change it every three months.
- Make sure only authorized users are on your computers; shut down and lock computers after use and store laptops in a secure location.
- Secure and hide your Wi-Fi network.
- Make sure each employee has his or her own user account with a strong password.
- Limit important data access and authority to install software.
If you’re still concerned about your company’s vulnerability to cyber attacks, you may want to consider outsourcing your security. Many companies are turning to outside computer security firms for support. Expenses are based only on what your company requires, and this personalization can save you the financial stress of hiring a full-time team of professionals. This option allows you to focus on managing your company, while others handle the burden of potential cyber attacks. There are plenty of security companies willing to take your outsourced security needs, you just need to find one that suits your company. Two big brands in the industry are Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc., but you should conduct your own research to find the company and service package that fits your specific needs.
To make sure you are picking the right company to take over your security needs, you should first check out a company’s website and look for external testimonials and reviews. Research the status of the company and check how they conduct their business to make sure it is compatible with your needs. Also make sure that you obtain contact information of an individual within the company to avoid having to go through tedious customer support in the case of an emergency. If you are hesitant about anything, speak up and ask questions; it will benefit you in the long run. Check out this list of companies and statistics to start your search for your ideal security firm: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/companies/internet-security/.
In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has created a free planner to help you start organizing your online protection today. You can find it here www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner. You can also check out www.snopes.com for updates on the latest scams.