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Protecting your small business from cyber threats – Part 1

In this day and age, it is nearly impossible for any business to operate without investing heavily in online technology. From sophisticated websites, Facebook advertising and email marketing ventures to relatively simple web-based calendars and accounting programs, your company must be prepared to thrive in the cyber world.

However, this world comes with very real threats. It is vital for business owners to understand cybersecurity and to take appropriate measures to safeguard their financial interests.

Defining cybersecurity

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), cybersecurity is an umbrella term that covers the protection of data, computer networks and software. The goal is to guard against improperly accessed information, stolen data, damaged records and other problems. This can benefit the company itself, its employees and its customers.

Keeping data private, accurate and accessible

Cybersecurity is built on three primary pillars: privacy, accuracy and accessibility.

  • Privacy means that sensitive business information should be kept confidential, and employees should only be able to utilize it on a “need to know” basis.
  • Accuracy means keeping online information up to date and ensuring that it is not corrupted, modified or erased without your permission. This can build trust with clients and guard your company’s reputation in the marketplace.
  • Accessibility means that those who do need to obtain information for legitimate business purposes should be able to get to it easily. It does a company no good to carefully guard its data if that data is not available when needed.

In our next post, we will look at the most common types of cyber threats that small businesses face. We will also discuss strategies that the SBA recommends for protecting against such hazards.

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