Cyber security measures are critically important for any small business. A robust cyber security system will ensure that your business is protected from any number of common threats, from phishing and malware to viruses and cyber attacks. Below you’ll find some effective steps you can take to safeguard your business data:

1. Teach employees the principles of data security
Outline positive security practices during on-boarding for new employees. This should include policies such as requiring strong passwords and login credentials, establishing appropriate guidelines for internet usage and detailing consequences for violating these cyber security policies. Present a clear explanation of how to handle and protect client information and any other vital records.

2. Install updates
Install updates for software, applications and operating systems so you’re running the latest versions of your programs. Companies often release patches that fix vulnerabilities like security loopholes that can be abused by hackers. Additionally, adjust your antivirus settings to routinely scan your computer, especially after updates.

3. Add a Firewall to your internet connection
A firewall keeps outsiders from accessing data on a private network. Make sure a firewall is installed and active on your network. There are several free firewall programs available online, but be careful, as some may carry viruses or malware. If your employees work remotely, ensure that their home computers are also protected by a firewall.

4. Secure mobile devices
Mobile devices like tablets and phones can create additional vulnerabilities in a business network, especially if they access sensitive data. Require users to implement file encryption, password-protections and security applications on their devices to prevent criminal access while on public networks. Also create a clear set of guidelines for reporting and handling lost or stolen equipment.

5. Backup your data
Establishing an effective disaster recovery plan is vital for a healthy business. One of the most important parts of that plan is data backup and recovery. Critical data like databases, spreadsheets, financial files, etc. should be backed-up regularly, even automatically if possible. The backup files should be stored in a secure offsite location or in the cloud for easy recovery in the event of an unforeseen disaster.

6. Limit access to your computers and create user accounts for employees
Require authorization for anyone trying to access work computers, especially laptops and other mobile devices that are often left open in public locations. Create individual user accounts for each employee and require strong passwords. Lastly, only provide trusted staff and key personnel with administrative access to important files and applications.

7. Safeguard your Wi-Fi network
Keep your office Wi-Fi network secure by utilizing encryption and invisibility. To hide your Wi-Fi network, adjust your wireless access point or router settings to not broadcast your network name, a.k.a. your Service Set Identifier (SSID). Last but not least, be sure to password protect access to your router.

8. Employ best practices on payment cards
Check up regularly with banks and processors to ensure you are using the most trusted and validated tools/anti-fraud services available. Oftentimes, you can also add additional security measures through your bank or processor. As an additional safety measure, isolate payments from less secure programs and avoid surfing the internet on the same computer that you use to process payments.

9. Limit employee system access and install permissions
Don’t give any one employee access to all data systems. Employees should only have access to the data systems that they need for their jobs, and shouldn’t be able to install any software without permission.

10. Passwords and authentication
Require strong, unique passwords for all employees, and change passwords quarterly. Also consider implementing a multi-step authentication system that will require additional information like auto-generated pass-codes or text verification to gain access.

Want to know more? Unsure where to start? Let’s talk! We are at the forefront of cyber security and specialize in providing comprehensive protection to small and mid-sized businesses. We’ll handle all of the technical aspects of your backup recovery, system updates and cyber attack protections. Call (914)-934-9775 and ask how we can improve your business’s cyber security!