Recent technology has made it simple for small business owners to not only start their own business, but to have a successful business. But that same technology has made it easier than ever for cyber criminals to expand their reach, shifting their efforts to take advantage of small businesses instead of individual victims. Following are a few ways to ensure that your business remains your business.
1. Educate Yourself & Your Employees
Information is one of the best tools of prevention. You can’t protect yourself from danger if you don’t know what that danger is. Make sure that you and your employees know how to protect yourselves while online. Test your employees so that you both know how to safeguard yourself and the company. You’ll also want to make sure employees know the proper channels to go through if they do have an incident to report.
2. Cover the Basics
It may seem like common sense, but make sure that you have the basic bases covered. Firewalls, antivirus software and the like should be installed on each computer in the office. Have your employees switch up passwords every few months, and make sure that the new password is one that’s difficult to decipher and not something elementary like their father’s birthday or the name of a pet.
3. Save by Spending
Don’t be afraid to hire the services of professionals to protect your business and its assets, including those of your clients and customers. Be sure to budget for antivirus software and hardware as well. Something else to budget for is legal representation. What happens if a cyber-criminal manages to steal sensitive information or client data? You’ll need to bring in a lawyer who specializes in cyber-crime. Be sure to have an Orlando criminal defense attorney on file, just in case.
4. Put Your Head in the Clouds
Clouds are not only a great way to store massive amounts of information, but to keep that information safe and secure. If you or your employees telecommute, you may not have the same protection at home that you do at the office. Imagine if one of your employees were to take their work laptop home with them and that laptop were stolen. All of their business data, passwords and more would be ripe for the digital plucking. In the event that you’re unable to hire a professional security service, see if your cloud service provider does. If so, you’ll have two services for the price of one.
5. Secure Your Smartphone
Cyber criminals have learned how to extract data from our cellphones, and now businesses use smartphones just as much if not more than computers. You and your employees should lock your business smartphones when you aren’t using them. What would you do if you were to lose your phone or leave it behind? We like to think that the person who found it would be kind enough to turn it in, but this isn’t always the case. Now you can remotely wipe your phone of all sensitive data if it’s ever stolen or left behind.
Be proactive and vigilant about the security of your business. Owning and running a business is time consuming enough as it without adding cyber-crime and possible lawsuits to the equation. If you think that you might be the victim of a cyber-crime, be sure to contact a criminal lawyer in Orlando to explore your legal options. For more tips on increasing your cyber security and improving your business savvy at the same time, be sure to subscribe to BusinessWeek and CRN magazine.
About the Author: Molly Henshaw is a small business owner in the DC metro area. She is also a contributing author for Katz & Phillips, an Orlando law firm. It is imperative to contact an attorney if you feel that your internet security has been breached!