Small business owners can reach wider networks of customers, suppliers, and distributors thanks to the internet and its conveniences. It is no secret that small businesses are conducting most of their business online. The price for conducting business online has increased vulnerability to data breaches and cyber attacks from hackers.
Providing employees with email, ability to work remotely, interfacing with customers, and conducting financial transactions online has increased the potential risk of exposing one’s confidential business information to strangers and criminals. Many hackers can purchase passwords on the dark web and find small businesses an easy target for their attacks. As a small business owner today, it is a business necessity to be aware of the risks of maintaining an online business and put strategies in place for cyber security. Strategies that can be implemented with ease are as follows:
Changing and creating unique passwords regularly every three to six months is recommended. If a password is not changed frequently, it can make its way to the dark web where it can be purchased by hackers for a nominal price. Although it is a hassle to change passwords and remember them, it is an essential practice to provide a layer of protection against cyber-attacks. Create a password policy that clearly outlines requirements for password creation for the business.
Utilizing a password manager may be a good way to help manage passwords. Employees must juggle several passwords for various devices they use and keeping track of the passwords can be overwhelming. A password manager generates, retrieves, and keeps track of unique passwords for all accounts while the user keeps track of one password to unlock the password manager.
Requiring a two-factor authentication is another layer of protection that can be easily implemented. This type of authentication requires another form of identification validation, such as a code or PIN number. Also, the authentication request is made via text message to verify the owner of the password. Some companies rely on a multi-factor authentication that requires additional forms of identification, such as an iris or fingerprint scan.
Utilize a firewall to prevent outsiders from accessing data on the private business network. Install firewall on employee’s home computers and laptops.
Provide employees access to information that they require to perform their jobs. Limit their access to information they do not require. Also, prevent employees from installing software on work-related computers and laptops.
Employees increasingly access email and other information through their mobile devices, creating additional sources of security threats. Require password protection on their mobile devices and install encryption and security apps on them to protect the business network.
Cyber criminals take advantage of human error and vulnerability through phishing tactics. Conducting regular cyber security seminars that alert employees to the risks and threats of their online behavior is a good way to increase awareness.
The small business lawyers at MacMain Connell & Leinhauser provide advice on a broad array of services related to small businesses, including protecting your business from cyber-attacks. For an initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 484-318-7106. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Philadelphia and Chester County.