Spring is in the Air and so is Cyber Security
Helpful Tips to Keep Your Small Business Safe from Security Specialists
Spring is here and with it a renewed focus on keeping our businesses safe, secure and operating at peak efficiency. Despite recent headlines of data breaches and compromises at some of the world’s largest corporations, according to Aberdeen Research, the risk of a single data breach is, in fact, 63 percent higher for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) than it is for organizations employing 1,000 people or more.
The news gets even worse for small business. According to statistics from a U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance study, when SMBs suffer a breach, they are far less likely to recover with 60 percent of them shutting their businesses down within six months of a breach.
To protect your small or medium sized business from attack, even if you have limited personnel or financial resources dedicated to cyber security, here are a few immediate tips you can implement:
Stop ignoring those notifications from Microsoft and other vendors so your systems stay up to date. Create a weekly or monthly “maintenance” checklist and regularly track all applicable patches and update accordingly.
If you have remote employees, you need to keep track of who’s logging in via a virtual private network (VPN) and only enable the service for those with a legitimate business need. Make sure that as employees are hired or fired that you update their access accordingly.
Make it part of your weekly maintenance routine to look at who has administrative privileges to your network infrastructure and shut down access to anyone who shouldn’t have full permission.
When dealing with a service interruption, the last thing you need to be doing is performing password resets. Establish a central source for creating, distributing, maintaining and disabling longer, unique passwords for all users during their employment and departure.
An effective backup strategy will provide your business with the ability to get up and running again quickly following an attack. Establish strong rules and permissions for all users and keep them updated. Set up and maintain a schedule to back up servers at set intervals. Run full backups three times a week with incremental backups each hour.
Staying on top of cyber security requirements to protect your critical business information and intellectual property from data breaches can be daunting; however, if you commit to taking some common-sense approaches to network security at regularly scheduled intervals you’ll be better guarded against future incidents.