Protect your Business from Cyber Threats with this 5 Point Checklist

November 21st, 2013 by admin

In bold uppercase: 'Practice Cyber Safety' with the last word in red

About half of all small business owners believe their business is too small to be a potential victim for virtual thieves and hacking.

The facts, however, say something quite different. The majority of cyber attacks are actually perpetrated against businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Is your SMB prepared for these threats? Follow the checklist below to be cyber-safe!

Cyber-Safe Checklist

  • 5.   Data Backup – While backups can’t protect your data from virtual threats, they are the only way to recover lost or corrupted data after an attack has occurred. Though you may never need to recover data, it is necessary to have a comprehensive data backup system in place for business continuity purposes and peace of mind. Think of it as an insurance policy, and one which could save your livelihood if need be.
  • 4.    Spam Filter – A spam filter not only keep junk, or spam, mail out of your inbox (saving you and your employees time and irritation sifting through those “Lose 10 pounds in 5 minutes!” emails), but it prevents you from opening emails that could potentially contain a virus or other malicious hack. If you don’t see these emails because they have already been quarantined, you won’t be tempted to open them – no matter how enticing a 5-minute weight loss might be.
  • 3.   Firewall - A firewall system protects your computer systems from a multitude of virtual threats. Firewalls block threats and unwanted access to your network. Many of these threats, which include viruses, worms, harmful cookies, and other malicious programs, may come from something as “harmless” as surfing the internet or downloading a file online.
  • 2.   Antivirus Protection – Up-to-date antivirus software goes hand in hand with firewalls to protect your business and employees from hacking and cyber attacks. Antivirus protection essentially scans registries, files, and emails to remove threats. Performing an antivirus scan is the best way to determine if your computer has been infected, and remove the issue. However, it should be noted that there is typically a short period after a completely new attack has been launched for antivirus protection to be made aware of it and properly catch it. One such example is the recent CrpytoLocker Ransomware attacks.
  • 1.   Education and Awareness – I cannot overstate the importance of educating your employees about cyber threats and best practices for avoiding them. When all else fails, commonsense can mean the difference between an infected computer and a healthy one. Many hacks are completely avoidable, and only contracted because an employee opened an infected email attachment or visited a disreputable website. Cyber threats should be a topic of proactive conversation in your office, and not a non-entity pushed under the rug until its completely forgotten. As the threat of hacking increases, we must fight it with commonsense and vigilant awareness.

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security