Cyber Monday is an exciting day not only for shoppers and business owners, but also for cyber criminals. Small businesses are especially vulnerable, since many do not have the funds or infrastructure to protect themselves.
There are a variety of ways that your business can be at risk, including hacking, phishing and malware. You should never assume that your business is safe; anticipate that an attack will likely happen and take these precautions to keep your business safe from cyber threats.
1. Educate Your Staff
Your IT security systems can do so much to protect you. Your staff members are not only an important line of defense, they also have access to critical data that can be unintentionally shared with cyber criminals. You should have procedures and training in place to help them spot cyber criminal activity and react appropriately if something were to happen.
- Outline accepted uses for the technology you provide, including when employees take machines with important data out of the office
- Ensure that everyone is following proper password procedures
- Train your employees to recognize cyber threats
- Create protocols around accessing and sharing information
2. Safeguard Your Information
In all likelihood, the most valuable thing your company owns is information. You should have a system security plan in place to help you keep that information safe. If no one on your staff has the knowledge and experience necessary, invest in an outside company to ensure that you are keeping your business and your customers safe. Your plan should include:
- Restrictions on who has access to data and who has admin privileges
- Invest in an up-to-date security system, anti-phishing software and encryption software
- Set up a firewall
- Use multiple levels of verification for financial transactions
- Use a reliable VPN (virtual private network) so your employees have a secure connection to the internet
- Divide your data into segments and encrypt it so that if a breach occurs, not all your data will be comprised
- Have a file sharing system (that isn’t email) to share confidential information
- Backup your data regularly at on off-site server or in the cloud
- Ensure you have an SSL certificate to upgrade your website’s domain to https, which ensures that information passing through the site is secure
- Regularly test your systems
3. Protect Your Physical Assets
Cyber crime can also be combined with physical theft. Your technological devices where your data is stored and printed copies of confidential information are vulnerable to being taken or manipulated. To protect yourself:
- Install “find my device” software on all machines used for business (including phones)
- Use an uninterruptible power system (UPS) to protect against issues with the power grid
- Shred physical copies of sensitive information when it’s no longer needed
4. Protect Your Business With the Right Coverage
Don’t be caught unprepared. Farm Bureau commercial business insurance provides reimbursement for investigating a cyber breach, helps you notify affected customers and includes restoration services and liability protection. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent today about data breach coverage. Getting protected before a breach could save your small business.