Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know to Protect your Business

Cybersecurity may sound like something that only healthcare and fortune 500 companies need to think about, but as all levels of business become more digital and larger companies spend more to protect themselves, that leaves a target on mid-sized businesses. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to think about your cyber crime prevention plan.

Everyone knows they need it, but almost no one has it.
The National Center for Middle Market recently published a study that found 88% of middle market companies say cyber security is important to them, but only 22% have insurance to protect themselves from a breach.

Detection of a breach is usually delayed.
Thomas Stewart, the executive director for NCMM, notes that most companies do not know they have even had a breach until 6 months after it happened, and when the average breach can cost a company billions, it’s even more concerning that the breach isn’t detected right away.

Cyber attacks aren’t necessarily a one-time thing.
Of healthcare companies that have had a cyber attack, 79% have been breached more than once. Once a vulnerability is exposed, it’s possible that it can be breached more than once. This becomes especially risky with a delay in breach identification.

Securing your business is possible.
No matter the size of your staff or number of locations, you can take steps to secure your business. Below are three ways to get started at various budget levels. The key to protecting your business is simply to get started.

Start with your employees.
Human error is one of the largest causes of security breaches. In fact, 88% of employees don’t have enough training to prevent common security incidents. Start by teaching all levels of employees what phishing attempts look like and advise over-caution rather than risk. If your organization is larger, you can do this training through companies that offer courses in cyber security. You can also access free resources and webinars if you have a smaller team.

Vet the cloud-based services you use.
As more cloud-based solutions become available, you have access to many amazing tools that can help you run your business better. When assessing cloud-based providers for your business, be it scheduling, online appointments or any other solution, ensure they employ things like data encryption and multi-factor user identification. If there is government legislation about data protection in your industry, be sure the software you choose complies.

Establish best practices to secure private information.
The needs of each business vary depending on what personal information they need to store– whether that’s employee or customer data. Start small with your wifi. Do you provide a public network for customers to use? If you do, make sure the one your employees are using a separate secured, password protected, hidden wifi network. You can take it a step further and password protect your router as well.

Don’t forget physical access concerns.
You can protect your business from digital threats in a myriad of ways, but don’t neglect physical access to private information or network and hardware. Make sure these things are located somewhere with controlled access. Only allow access to employees who work directly with those things.

It’s crucial to start protecting yourself from digital threats. Save yourself cost and headache by protecting any private information and train your staff on safety precautions and best practices that everyone should be following.

Learn more about cybersecurity at the FBI’s Cyber Crime information page.

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