Roedel Parsons Koch Blache Balhoff & McCollister

Protecting your small business from cyber threats – Part 2

In our last post, we talked about the definition of cybersecurity and how important it is for small businesses to take cyber threats seriously. In this post, we will look at risk factors as well as strategies that Louisiana companies can use to guard against data theft, malicious computer viruses, hacked websites, denial-of-service attacks and other online dangers.

Which businesses are at risk?

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), certain businesses face a higher risk of cyber threats than others. In general, organizations are vulnerable to technological attacks if they have outdated software, poor security protocols or insufficient oversight for employees.

Small businesses typically have fewer financial resources than large corporations, making it harder for them to continually upgrade their anti-virus software or take other security measures. They may also have fewer personnel resources, making it more challenging to educate employees and implement security strategies.

Strategies for improving cybersecurity

The good news is that small businesses can take certain steps to mitigate risk. Here are a few areas to focus on:

  • Employee training – Every employee who comes into contact with proprietary information or who uses computer systems should be trained (and frequently retrained) in proper security protocol. This includes remote workers, IT employees, online customer service representatives and many others.
  • Internet and email – Always safeguard passwords to your computer systems. Never download files or software from any source that you cannot confirm is trustworthy. Likewise, never open email attachments from unknown senders.
  • Computer systems – If possible, encrypt all private data and frequently back it up. It is also important to install up-to-date firewalls that can guard against viruses and malware.

While cybersecurity does call for an outlay of time and money, it is worth it. Today’s businesses must be prepared to thrive in both the physical world and the digital one.

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