Be sure you run a cyber-safe business
(NC)—You've finally realized what you have been working so hard for. You've opened up your own business and things could not be running more smoothly. You have great staff, a nifty security system, a phenomenal concept and it's your dream to see it all come together. But have you thought about cyber security?
Small business owners often overlook the importance of protecting their business from cyber threats for a number of reasons. They may think the threats aren't real for them, or that cyber criminals are only targeting bigger business — but it all comes down to this: No matter what kind of business you run, if you are online, you're at risk of a cyber attack.
Cyber criminals use technology to harvest information about your business and your customers. They try to gain access to your servers or your email system to steal company banking information, customer records and contact lists, among other things.
Here are six steps to keep your business cyber safe:
1. Take time to learn about cybercrime. It's easy to get information on the risks and the latest threats. Then, share the information with your employees.
2. Look at your software. It may seem like an added or unnecessary expense, but investing in strong anti-spam, anti-spyware, anti-virus, and firewall software could save you money in the long run. Also, many security software companies offer programs tailored to small business needs for prices that will fit your budget.
3. Create strong passwords. And change passwords regularly (every quarter or when seasonal time changes take place). Encourage your staff to do the same.
4. Think about mobile devices, too. You and your staff may use different devices to access company email and records (computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, USB key, etc.). Make sure you follow the first three steps for those devices as well.
5. Create a code of online conduct. Some cyber threats happen through inadvertent actions taken by your staff. For example, an employee may click on a link in an email which automatically downloads a virus. Curb these threats by putting in place strong company policies for Internet, email and social media use. Give your staff time to read them and give feedback, too.
6. Think about physical security. Laptops and mobile devices are easy to misplace or pick up. Make sure these items are safely stored, and install remote tracking software so that you can disable them if they get into the wrong hands.
Don't let cybercrime ruin what you've worked so hard to create.
Protect while you connect. More information is available online at GetCyberSafe.ca.
Articles are provided free of charge. Articles appearing on web sites, must credit www.newscanada.com. Articles appearing in Print, must credit News Canada with (NC) at beginning of an article or – News Canada at the end. Any source/sponsor of the information quoted in the text must also be identified as presented. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada articles constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.
Image Instructions - Note: Illegal to use without News Canada editorial.
To open/download image(s) used in this article, please click the following links:Click here for image file: «78957H.jpg»