Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses
Paying attention to the cybersecurity procedures you use in your Richmond small business can be one of the most important things you do.
“There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be.”
In the modern age cybersecurity is the new frontier to protect against unwanted thefts and entry into your computer system. In 2014 alone, hackers were able to infiltrate into some of the largest companies in the world. This included corporations like Sony, Home Depot, and Target. The hackers took data from millions of clients. Of course this happened in the large corporate world. But the point is if these companies dedicate some time to their cybersecurity issues. What can happen to your small Sydney business when you don’t implement any kind of computer security.
There are Just a ton of reasons to focus on cybersecurity and as a small business in Sydney you really do need to pay attention here.
During a recent survey, experts in cybersecurity revealed that 90% of Australian organisations face some sort of cybersecurity compromise during any given year.
In 2014 alone, CERT Australia (the national computer emergency response team) responded to 11,073 cyber security incidents.
Many times smaller independent businesses are seen as targets because hackers believe they don’t have any standards for cybersecurity. And often it is true.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here at Little Computer People we have some of our top tips here to help you protect your business. If it still feels overly complicated, please contact us at either of out locations as we are here to get you set up right!
#1 Improve Cybersecurity with A Strong Password Choice
Every new account needs a password. When we have too many passwords to manage this is when we begin to get lazy and take short cuts. DON’T. Try to use unique passwords each and every computer, server, account, and website. To create a stronger password use ones that are at least 16-20 characters long and a mix of types of characters (upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers).
#2 Good Password Management
When we have too many passwords, we tend to write them them down. The most common way of doing this is to jot it down on a post-it and place it on your desk or even attach it to your computer monitor. Try not to do this. You don’t want to share your passwords with other people either. You can look into online password management services, or if you do need to create a file of passwords then store it on a USB drive locked in a safe. Change your password every 90 days to 6 months. You can even program update reminders into some systems.
#3 Wired Connections
Many businesses already use Ethernet (wired) connections instead of wireless connections due to it having faster speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connections. Cybersecurity is another reasons many small companies opt for this options. They are often easier to secure. However, if on wireless there are still ways to make it safer by using strong encryption to protect data that is being transmitted. Set up a WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) with a strong 40+ character long password. There have been weaknesses in Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), so try to stick to WPA2.
#4 Firewall Protection
Safeguard your connection using a firewall and encryption information. Put your Wi-Fi network behind a firewall that is secure and hidden. Set up your router so that it does not broadcast the name and be sure it is password protected. Generally this is an area that small businesses need to pay more attention to in order to reduce cyber attacks and improve detection.
# 5 Anti-Virus Protection
Make sure you business’s antivirus software and antispyware is from a known and trusted source, and up to date. Often, you can do more in this area and protect your equipment against advanced attacks. For this, install and monitor a commercial grade endpoint virus protection on all client and server systems.
#6 Web Browsing
Always make sure everything is up to date. Otherwise your antivirus programs can’t protect your system effectively, especially if it’s not the newest version. Update your operating system (Office, Window, Mas OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, etc). Update your web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc). Update your plug-ins (Flash, Java, etc). You can also set your system to automatically update so you won’t forget.
#8 Lock your Devices
Keep everything protected when you’re not there. All your devices: laptop, cell phone, external hard drives, table, or office computer should be password protected and locked when not in use.
#9 Make a Backup
Regularly make backup copies of any important documents of information that you can’t afford to lose.This can include HR files, word documents, spreadsheets, financial files or databases, and accounts payable/receivable. Try to back up every week and store the copy in a secure location.
# 10 Erase Everything
When disposing of old devices, wipe the system, flash drive, hard drive, printer, or phone completely.
With these simple steps it’s easy to begin protecting your small business from cyber attacks. The absolute best way of course is to hire a professional. We at Little Computer People are here to help answer your questions and set your business up right.