Small businesses need to use adequate cyber security typically because of threats from hackers, cyber criminals, and identity theft are very real. Additionally, businesses of all sizes have a responsibility not just to their clients, but also to their staff when it comes to securing the data that is used in the organization. In all actuality, there are regulations that require that all data of a personal nature is used and secured appropriately.
Most small businesses will use regular PCs on a network and possibly a server to store and send information that is vital to the business. This can often include information of a private or financial nature that belongs to clients. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that you have good security measures in place. This can include things like antivirus, passwords, firewalls, and even a Secure USB flash drive for any information that you need to take with you.
Secure USB Flash Drives
There will be times when you will need to access some files from somewhere other than the office. Yes, you can do this with information that is stored on the cloud. However, what if you are in an area where there is no internet? If you have the data you need stored on a flash drive, that would be great! You can take the small drives with you where ever you go and you don’t need the internet to access the data that is stored on them.
That being said, if you happen to lose said drive, or it gets stolen, what is to keep other people from accessing that same information? This type of drive doesn’t normally come with any sort of security. However, there are a few that you can get that do have both encryption and physical security in the form of a PIN that needs to be entered into the keypad on the drive itself before the information it contains can be accessed. That is a bit of cyber security that small businesses can’t afford to not have.
Threats Posed by Cyber Criminals
Your business stores and uses information that is vital regarding your business processes, your partners, your finances, and your clients. This means that any business is extremely attractive to cyber criminals who typically spend their days trying to infiltrate business websites and networks in search of information that can be used for identity theft or financial gain.
Many hackers make an effort to extort websites that belong to small businesses when they have coding that is old and insecure or those that run on web servers and operating systems that are unpatched and older. Aside from this, they can attempt to get your employees to click links in emails or open attachments that will take them to sites where they can have their private information and or passwords stolen. You may have heard of the term ‘phishing’ before… this is phishing.
Securing Systems and Protecting Staff
In order to secure a small business, you need to be using the right technology and you also need to have the right policies for security. This will help employees to always have security in the forefront of their minds.
Good security policies need to include things such as using passwords that are strong – that include both numbers and letters; never displaying or sharing passwords, and only opening attachments from emails that come from sources that are reliable. The staff should also be instructed to always be responsible when using the internet and to stay on guard when there are outsiders or contractors in the building.
When it comes to IT, make sure to always monitor any and all access to your network. This includes flash drives or any other types of removeable devices that might be used to steal information from the company.
You might also add a few other types of technology to make sure that your business information stays safe. Consider things like biometric fingerprint recognition and or using a virtual private network (VPN). Another option is full disk encryption that will secure all of the information located on a hard drive and make the machine a paperweight for anyone who might attempt to steal it.