Posted at 7:21 AM
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Nation’s economy. Aside from the wide range of services they offer, small and medium-sized businesses store significant amounts of sensitive data, from customer information to intellectual property.
While bigger businesses can often dedicate greater resources towards cybersecurity, small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs face the same cybersecurity challenges and threats with limited resources, capacity, and personnel.
Entrepreneurs also face a unique cybersecurity threat as their data includes not only personal data and financial spreadsheets but valuable intellectual property that could be worth much more than even they realize. Entrepreneurs are recognizing this need and the fact that the cybersecurity field is a burgeoning marketplace. Entrepreneurs start and fail again (or start, succeed, sell and start again), so they should consider cyber security as a marketplace and focus their talents on creating new and affordable cyber solutions.
The Department of Homeland Security and other Federal agencies are dedicated to helping improve the cybersecurity of small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses of all sizes can take steps to ensure they are more secure, including:
Use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers; automate patch deployments across your organization to protect against vulnerabilities.
Secure your Internet connection by using a firewall, encrypting information and hiding your Wi-Fi network.
Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information; educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organization’s data and hold them accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
Require that employees use strong passwords and regularly change them.
Invest in data loss protection software for your network and use encryption technologies to protect data in transit.
Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.
These and other tips can be found in the small business section of the Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit.