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All Businesses are Targets

What keeps you up at night?

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night worrying about what you did or didn’t do at work? Did you pay the vendor? Is payroll set up correctly? Is your ad camera ready for tomorrow’s deadline? Many business owners can relate to their professional life impacting their sleep schedule. Business owners wear various hats from accounting and marketing to HR and strategy, any of which can give them a headache.

For the business owner, technology advancements are both a blessing and a curse. Technology allows a company to be more efficient, save time, and alleviate some of the mundane tasks associated with running a business.  The down sides can include power outages, or a computer stops working, all of which usually happens when it is imperative to access your information. Companies find themselves at a halt when the technology fails. Often, a repair to the computer or restored electricity can solve a problem quickly. However, what happens when technology fails due to a cyberattack? Is your business prepared?

Most small business owners do not believe their company is a target for hackers. The reality is all businesses are targets. While larger companies might have a bigger payoff, they also have added security. Medium to small businesses become desirable for hackers because of their lack of security. 

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, recommends a cyber protection plan to help businesses mitigate a cyberattack. The first step is to ask yourself about your company’s current policy and if it addresses cybersecurity needs.

Does your company backup its data? Are the backups stored offline? The data is a vital part of the business operation, and recovery of the information is critical to resume activities. If your company does experience an attack, what is your response plan? A written plan of procedure to follow will expedite the recovery time. How long can your business run without the system being completely active? To keep business going, you need to prioritize what systems need to be up and running first. Having a plan for the above is essential, however, you also need to test the plan to make sure it will work.

Now is the time to have a risk analysis done for your organization. The key is to find a reputable, trustworthy business that focuses on cybersecurity. Implementing multi-factor authentication and minimizing account privileges with employees will protect the system. However, training of all staff will help prevent a majority of cyber-attacks as hackers target employees with links that can leave malware on the company system.

Put in place the scanning of your entire computer system and have an automated patch management program to ensure the latest security. Set a policy about what programs or applications can run on the company computer network. Limit access to websites known for higher risk of cybersecurity issues.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the business; if a connection to the internet is needed, then a cyber protection plan is a requirement. The cyber protection plan will change and need monitoring regularly as new attacks pop-up. Safeguarding your company information with a cyber protection plan will allow you to sleep better at night. 

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Written by Roseann Freitas

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