Protecting your company data from unauthorized access and loss is one of the most important priorities in the workplace. At ABN we can help you implement policies and procedures to protect your data and prevention from future loss.
Broadband and information technology are powerful tools for small businesses to reach new markets and increase sales and productivity. However, cybersecurity threats are real and businesses must implement the best tools and tactics to protect themselves, their customers, and their data. Here are ten key cybersecurity tips to protect your small business:
- Train employees in security principles. Establish basic security practices and policies for employees, such as requiring strong passwords and establish appropriate Internet use guidelines, that detail penalties for violating company cybersecurity policies. Establish rules of behavior describing how to handle and protect customer information and other vital data.
- Protect information, computers, and networks from cyber attacks. Keep clean machines: having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update. Install other key software updates as soon as they are available.
- Provide firewall security for your Internet connection. A firewall is a set of related programs that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network.
- Create a mobile device action plan. Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.
- Make backup copies of important business data and information. Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly and store the copies either offsite or in the cloud.
- Control physical access to your computers and create user accounts for each employee. Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords.
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure. Password protect access to the router.
- Employ best practices on payment cards. Work with banks or processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations pursuant to agreements with your bank or processor.
- Limit employee access to data and information. Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Employees should only be given access to the specific data systems that they need for their jobs.
- Passwords and authentication. Require employees to use unique passwords and change passwords every three months.