17/10/2017 by Pascoe Partners Accountants
The Internet is a wealth of information and is used for so many services that we all rely on – from business email to social networking and online shopping.
But are you following the small business cyber security practices that will protect you from the potentially disastrous results we saw earlier this year from ransomware and other types of attacks?
Nowadays, people create accounts to access various portals and online services without thinking about it. But these all require personal information such as name, date of birth, address, contact number(s), credit card details. etc.
This information is sensitive. Precautions must be taken to prevent this data from being accessed and leaked by hackers or scammers who impersonate identity and even hold your valuable data to ransom for financial gain.
Be aware of the risks and use the available technology from dedicated internet security companies to keep up to date with the latest antivirus or malware protection; also be aware that “User Integrity”(i.e. personal gullibility) is the biggest vulnerability to most systems.
Cyber security risks for small business
Hackers use the following four types of cyber security attack methods, amongst others:
These are just some examples of potential exposures that your home computer or small business network are susceptible to.
6 small business cyber security practices
The above types of attacks can cause stress and reputation damage for small businesses. What cyber security practices can your small business follow to reduce the risk?
Here are six of the simplest practices:
1. Keep operating system and applications updated – and install any security updates released by the provider.
2. Install antivirus software with internet protection – and keep it up-to-date.
3. Utilise multiple passwords with adequate complexity – use numbers and special characters for all passwords across all login platforms. Additionally, password management tools such as LastPass, 1Password and others can do this for you. While popular, there are risks associated with using (and with not using) those kinds of tools.
4. Be diligent in identifying fraudulent e-mails – including checking the following:
5. Research – read forums or reviews on freeware programs before installation.
6. Use common sense – keep all personal information private.
Now you have some basic knowledge of the potential vulnerabilities that your small business may encounter online, and some of the simple cyber security practices you can start applying to lower the risks.