Is your business ready with written policies and procedures to protect itself from outside security threats?
Cyber criminals assume that small business owners are more focused on building their business than worrying about cyber-crime. They assume that small businesses have fewer resources than big businesses to defend themselves, and also assume that they do not have the necessary expertise to take the preventive steps to stop them.
A recent study, conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance, found that 87% of small and medium sized businesses do not have a formally written internet security policy.
Fortunately, we have some preventive steps to help defend your business assets which won’t require you to be experts or spend a lot of money. It is really a matter of self-education about internet risks and developing practical habits that strengthen your security when online.
Keep your workstations uncontaminated:
Develop clear guidelines for what applications employees can install on their office computers. Even more important, enforce these rules because outside programs can create security vulnerabilities in your network.
Reinforce password protocols:
Strengthen your passwords by increasing the character length, replacing letters with numbers, and mixing in symbols. Make a system where you privately change your password periodically with new symbols or an additional numerical sequence can effectively secure your computers information from hackers. Conveniently, Microsoft has a password inspector made to help create secure passwords.
Resist clicking suspicious links:
Inform your employees about how to avoid and dispose of online popup ads, suspicious emails with attachments, and websites with links to malware. It is best to have your I.T. team create strict spam filters and advise employees to avoid logging into personal email accounts while working on the company computers.
Create multiple restore points:
Verify that all of your company’s important files have copies off-site. Keeping backups of your data will have you ready to perform a restore of all your corrupted data without any loss of information.
Start educating your employees and holding them accountable to your new internet security guidelines and procedures. Grow a culture where employees are encouraged for enforcing guidelines and reporting any strange behaviors and activities in the workplace.
These five steps are not the final solution to your internet security policy, but they are meant to give you the momentum to start building a complete plan, and put you within the 13% of businesses that do have a formal written security policy.