In today’s day and age, having the proper cyber security is essential for any small businesses. It is important to understand how cyber security protects small businesses and what you should be aware of when assessing your small business’s cyber security. These include protecting your company against viruses, spyware and other malicious code; securing your business’s networks; establishing proper security practices, policies and procedures to protect sensitive information; educate your employees on how to protect your businesses information; require the use of strong passwords, using a proper cadence in updating those passwords; utilize all best practices when processing payment cards; Make sure to create proper backups and copies of your vital business data and information such as word documents, spreadsheets, etc.; control all access to computers and network components to prevent access by unauthorized users; create a proper plan for all mobile devices; and protect all of the pages on your website to help prevent fraud and stolen information. These tips can help you when it comes to ensuring that you are protected. Below you can see more on each of these points.

1. Protect against viruses, spyware and other malicious code
This is one of the most common and well known pieces of cyber security. Ensuring that all the devices that you are using have the proper anti-virus software and anti-spyware software is extremely important. You should also make sure that this software is properly updated, ideally setting up automatic updates to help prevent any issues due to human error.

2. Secure your business’s networks
Using a firewall is extremely important to help safeguard your internet connection. You should also look at making sure that you’re encrypting information that is passing through your network. It’s also important that if you have a wifi network, to make sure it’s hidden and not broadcassing your SSID, and ensure that your wifi is password protected. This is essentail for proper cyber security.

3. Establish proper security practices
Getting the proper security practices in place to help protect personal information, as well as handling that information is extremely important. This sensitive information should be protected and understanding how to properly handle this information as well as the consequences that come with violating these policies is extremely important.

4. Educate your employees about cyber threats
It is also important to educate your employees about how they can help protect your company’s data. This includes educating them on proper and safe use of social networking sites. Depending on what your business is, it is possible that your employees could be introducing outside competitors to sensitive information about your business. Teaching them how to post without revealing any trade secrets to the public is very important, as is holding them accountable.

5. Use strong passwords and change them often
Ensuring that passwords are updated often helps reduce the chances of an unintentional breach. Utilizing multi factor authentication can also be extremely beneficial when protecting passwords and systems.

6. Utilize best practices when processing payment cards
It is important to work with the proper tools and anti-fraud services when processing payment cards. This not only protects your customers, but protects your business from potential, fraudulent activity.

7. Backup, backup, backup!
It is essential to regularly backup your business’s information. Having a backup for critical data is for any documents is crucial and ideally you will have both an on site and off site backup of all the information.

8. Prevent unauthorized access
It is important to control access to all computers and networks pieces. This includes physical access to these items. Restricting these items are important to help protect your company’s information. It is also important that employees use separate accounts and have strong passwords in order to protect individual computers. Only individuals such as trusted IT staff and key personnel should be given administrative privileges.

9. Create a mobile device security plan
Mobile devices have changed the way cyber security works. Networks and email are easily accessible through these devices and these devices are easily lost or stolen. Be sure to require all mobile users to protect their devices with passwords, take precautions to encrypt data and install security apps that will prevent information from being stolen by criminals. Also have a process for reporting lost or stolen devices.

10. Protect your public facing website
This is essential, especially for businesses that have employee or customer portals. Ensuring that you are working with a secure site, on all pages, and utilize verification methods to protect this information.