October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). As an NCSAM Champion, SecurityCoverage has pledged to help get out the word about Cyber Security Awareness in the month of October!

In small business it’s important to be vigilant about cyber security. While you may be confident you have everything under control, it never hurts to double check what you are doing, to make sure that your company is as protected as it can be.

The damage done from a single data breach, viruses, malware or extended loss of Internet service can be catastrophic to a small business. Did you know that 60% of small businesses will close within six months of a cyberattack? According to BitDefender, lost business due to data breaches rose from an average cost of $1.33 million in 2014 to an average of $1.57 million in 2015. This included customer turnover, reputation loss and diminished goodwill. With 50% of American workers employed by a small business, it is more important than ever for businesses to implement secure online practices.

So, as a small business, what can you do to better protect your company?

  1. Keep your machines clean – Defense in depth. Make sure that all workplace machines are protected with anti-virus and firewall protection. Use password managers to make sure you’re always keeping credentials encrypted. If necessary, backup your files with a secure solution.
  2. Protect your information – Set company-wide security and privacy standards. White-list applications that can be used on your network and black-list those that may have security concerns. Restrict scripting programs and test, test, test!
  3. Employee Education РMake sure that your employees are part of the solution! If an email, social post or text message looks suspicious, delete it. Only open attachments from trusted sources. Teach employees the tell-tale signs of a suspicious attachment or email (misspellings and grammar issues, unrecognized email addresses, unexpected messages, asking for private information).

This is only scratching the surface but much of this really comes down to common sense. Don’t leave the future of your business to chance. Cyberattacks come fast and often without warning. For more great information on small business security, check out the infographic below from StaySafeOnline.org.

https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/resources/small-business-online-security-infographic

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