It is the last week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month and we have a few last tips for small and medium sized businesses, brought to you by the Department of Homeland Security and StopThinkConnect.org.
As this recent piece in USA Today explains, small and medium businesses are increasingly becoming targets for cyber criminals, who recognize that they may not have the awareness or resources to protect themselves. The assets required to protect small and medium-sized businesses from cyber risks aren’t as readily available as they are to their larger industry counterparts. As such, these businesses must educate themselves on cybersecurity best practices to protect their assets.
As part of National Security Awareness Month 2014, DHS and the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign encourages all small and medium size businesses owners to practice safe Internet use and take the following steps with your business:
- Use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers; automate patch deployments across your organization to protect against vulnerabilities.
- Secure your Internet connection by using a firewall, encrypting information and hiding your Wi-Fi network.
- Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information; educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organization’s data and hold them accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
- Require that employees use strong passwords and regularly change them.
- Invest in data loss protection software for your network and use encryption technologies to protect data in transit.
- Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.
These and other tips can be found in small business section of the Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit. Small and medium-sized businesses can access the following resources to help improve their cybersecurity:
- Federal Small Biz Cyber Planner, a tool for businesses to create custom cybersecurity plans. Developed in partnership between the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Cyber Security Alliance, and private sector partners, the Small Biz Cyber Planner includes information on cyber insurance, advanced spyware, and how to install protective software.
- Internet Essentials for Business 2.0 guide for business owners, managers, and employees. Developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the guide focuses on identifying common online risks, best practices for securing networks and information, and what to do when a cyber incident occurs.
- Cybersecurity for Small Business training course, offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, covers the basics of cybersecurity and information security, including the kind of information that needs to be protected, common cyber threats, and cybersecurity best practices.
We encourage you to take advantage of some of these great tools! As always, if we can assist you with securing your business, just let us know!