Small business owners often assume that only large companies, banks or governments are susceptible to cyber attacks. However, a lack of knowledge and defences make small business particularly vulnerable to an attack.

Research has shown that around 71% of all cyber attacks occur to businesses that have less than 100 employees, but many CEO’s still haven’t invested in a cyber defence plan.

Cyber attack insurance premiums are typically expensive, going as high as $35,000 per year. Therefore, prevention is the most smartest and affordable option for small business owners.

These four steps will help protect your small business against a cyber attack, and maintain the the trust between you and your valued customers.

Conduct a Cyber Threat Assessment

Many small business owners, approximately 75%, don’t know if they have enough or the right security and solutions to protect their digital assets.

A threat assessment is a necessary first step to know exactly how and where your small business may be susceptible to cyber attacks.

Consider utilising a cyber security specialist to help analyse your digital systems and storages, to identify an weaknesses and create a strong security action plan.

Install a Firewall and Anti-virus Software

Cyber attacks occur through the use of automated software that seeks out and infiltrates networks that have little to no defences.

Ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to this by installing firewalls to control data both incoming and outgoing, and helps to prevent any unauthorised access to your network.

Other steps you to take include:

  • ensuring you have up to date anti-virus software
  • updating applications such as Java and Flash to the latest version
  • protecting your WiFi by making it invisible to outsiders and password protected.

Regularly Change Your Passwords

Many people, individuals and businesses, overlook the benefit and importance of regularly changing passwords. Doing this helps to protect critical and confidential data.

Passwords should be altered every two months, ensuring they are a mix of letter, number and symbols, and are at least 8 or more characters. Avoid personal information, such as kid’s names or birth dates, as cyber attackers have a better chance at guessing these.

Invest in Employee Training

Training your employees in cyber defence is one of the most important deterrents. With little to no education, employees may install malware or release private information to a criminal pretending to be a client.

Approximately 95% of security breaches online involve some form of human error. Therefore, ensure your staff understand cyber practices by:

  • construct an easily readable cyber security guide for employees, so they are better equipped to both identify and handle malware, risky email attachments, phishing attempts and other cyber threats
  • conduct regular meetings to discuss potential threats so employee know what to look out for and avoid
  • encouraging other employees to speak up if they see suspicious behaviour on your cyber network

Implementing these strategies will allow your company to be well equipped in preventing a cyber attack and focus on growing your business.

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