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Proactive Steps Your Small Business Can Take to Avoid Cyber Attacks

Today, odds are, by the time you finish reading this sentence, a small business somewhere across the country will have fallen victim to a cyber-attack. Here are a few proactive steps you can take to make sure that business isn’t yours. 

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Today, odds are, by the time you finish reading this sentence, a small business somewhere across the country will have fallen victim to a cyber-attack. Here are a few proactive steps you can take to make sure that business isn’t yours. 

The University of Maryland conducted a study that found that hackers across cyberspace launched a new attempted data breach once every 39 seconds. Terrifying, right?  

What’s even more terrifying: That study was released in 2007—the same year Apple released its first-ever iPhone! Cybersecurity-related threats have grown exponentially since then.

Today, odds are, by the time you finish reading this sentence, a small business somewhere across the country will have fallen victim to a cyber-attack. Here are a few proactive steps you can take to make sure that business isn’t yours. 

Invest in Cybersecurity Software Solutions

This is a no-brainer on par with investing in a winter coat in New England. The hackers you’re up against are using various technological tools; your servers and PCs need more and better protections.

A few action items to consider:
  • Research and install anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware software on every connected device within the organization.
  • Perform full-system scans every single week to ensure your data is protected.
  • Configure the anti-spam/malware/virus software to perform an update every day.

Develop Cyber-Related Organizational Protocols & Regulations

Even today, when cyber threats are at an all-time high, too many companies are unprepared.  

According to a report conducted by cybersecurity research firm FireEye, just over 50 percent of companies feel “unprepared” to handle a cyberattack. Another study, released by the Ponemon Institute, found more than 75 percent of companies admitted they have not prepared a cyber security incident response plan. 

In order to avoid falling victim to an expensive data breach, businesses must take the time to develop (and stick to) organization-wide cybersecurity best practices.  

A few action items to consider:
  • Use two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Add cybersecurity-specific regulations and protocols to your employee handbook.
  • Set and enforce clear company rules regarding employee passwords.
  • Start thinking, right now, about how you would react to a potential data breach.

Educate and Train Your Workforce

Nearly 95 percent of all cyber-attacks can be attributed to plain-and-simple human error. Business leaders need to ensure that every single person with access to the company’s electronic information assets, from the C-suite down to the intern desk, is properly educated on potential cybersecurity threats.  

A few action items to consider:
  • Make cybersecurity education part of your company’s on-boarding process for new employees.
  • Commit to a consistent schedule of organization-wide, mandatory cybersecurity training sessions.

When in Doubt, Bring in Professionals

Especially for small to mid-size businesses, hiring a full-time Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) can be unsustainable. Rent one! Getting professional advance from a CISO can save a company a lot of money in the short and long term. 

blumshapiro’s expert team offers a wide range of services that can enhance the security posture of your organization, manage security risks and ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations. 

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