It only happens to the big companies, right? While that may have been the conventional thinking in the past, cybercrime is finding large businesses, government institutions, and even individuals as its victims and as the Internet becomes increasingly integrated in to our daily lives, cybercrime continues to become more widespread.
Business is often about timing. Each day you have deadlines and if they aren’t met, you lose money. If you can’t get to your data for any reason, your day and the future of your business may be at risk. With data being so important to businesses of all sizes, it would be reasonable to believe that much like liability insurance, businesses are protected but that’s far from a true.
A recent survey concluded that 52% of all business don’t have an IT security policy. Their data simply isn’t held under cyber lock and key like it should be and their employees are free to practice internet usage while at work in any way that they see fit.
If your business is in the 52% crowd, something has to change and it has to change today. What can you do to decrease your risk of cyber attack?
Back Up Your Data
Just like in our real lives, not being a victim of theft often starts with common sense. Your data is too important to only be in one place and you should never trust somebody else to back it up. Copy your data and place it some place secure. If you can fit it all on to a portable hard drive or some other piece of hardware that isn’t connected to the internet, do that once per week. If you can’t, find an online backup service that will automatically do this for you.
Think about your needs
Does your small business have a lot of employees or contractors who work off site? Do they have to access your data from all over the world? Your security needs are vastly different from the small dry cleaning business that uses a computer for tracking garments and payments. Your needs might be simple anti-virus software or a sophisticated firewall protection. Talk to an expert if you’re not sure.
Can data be stored on a thumb drive that is easily misplaced? Can laptops be left in the back of your car? Can you save sensitive data on your local computer? These are all questions to ask before you put together a data usage policy. One of the largest areas of cybercrime is the stealing of data and if you have to go to your customers and tell them that somebody stole their data off of your network, that could spell disaster for your business.
Often, common sense will thwart cyber attacks but always have a backup in place. If your data is stored locally, a cyber attack won’t shut down your business for a day.