E-commerce is no longer the future of business—it is the now. More than half of small and midsize businesses in the U.S. prioritize e-commerce and digital services in their operations. It’s not difficult to see why. The internet creates all kinds of cutting-edge possibilities for entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, it creates opportunities for bad actors as well. Cyber criminals disproportionately target small businesses. In fact, according to a recent study from Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, and yet, only 14% are adequately prepared to defend themselves.
This Cybersecurity Awareness Month, take the time to ensure your business and employees are protected from cyberattacks. With the help of its resource partners, the SBA is committed to helping you stay safe as you explore new technologies that will benefit your business.
Train yourself: As the leader of your organization, there is a wealth of information you can brush up on before you share with your employees. Here are upcoming events and resources to get you started:
Train your team: A well-informed employee is often the best line of defense against data breaches. That is why it is so important to establish basic security practices and policies. The following are musts:
Use strong passwords
Enable multi-factor authentication
Avoid suspicious files, downloads, and phishing emails
Encrypt vendor and customer information
Secure your networks: Private networks are gateways by which cybercriminals access sensitive data, including information pertaining to you, your employees, and your customers. Safeguard your internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information. Set up your wireless access point (WAP) or router so that it does not broadcast the network name, otherwise known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). You’ll also want to use a strong password.
Install and update antivirus software: Billions of malware attacks take place each year. You can protect your personal operating systems, web browsers, and other applications by installing antivirus software and antispyware. If you already have these measures in place, make sure to regularly update.
Back up your data: You don’t want to be one cyberattack away from losing everything. Back up Word docs, spreadsheets, financial records, and more through a cloud service, or make physical copies that can be accessed off-site if necessary.