Seven things small businesses must do to prevent cyber-attacks
Seven things small businesses must do to prevent cyber-attacks that we feel should be taken seriously as there has being a series of cyber-attacks recently around the world and is still going on. We feel you should protect your investment.
Professor Matthew Warren, Deputy Director of Deakin’s Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation, said business owners were becoming more and more dependent on IT systems and therefore vulnerable to new and emerging security risks.
“From hairdressers to builders, accountants to GPs, small businesses are using IT to improve, expand and market their services, and that includes things like booking services, online sales, social media promotion, websites and customer databases,” Professor Warren said.
“The problem is that they may not have the appropriate resources, expertise or understanding to protect their systems and key data – they’re using the technology from a convenience perspective but without properly understanding the privacy and security risks.
Many think security is not their responsibility but it’s a serious risk that can destroy their business.
Professor Warren said there were seven simple things owners of small and medium businesses should do to protect themselves:
- Patch systems and enable automatic patching. All systems and packages are updated (called patching) and the patching can be done automatically rather than implemented individually by users.
- Back up all important data.
- Use a cloud-based email and/or data storage.
- Use strong authentication. Use passphrases instead of passwords and use two-stage authentication where possible.
- Set up different accounts. For example, you can set up an administrator account, as well as user accounts.
- Don’t use the same password across all accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Adobe, Apple, etc). When one is hacked, they all become vulnerable if you’re using the same password.
- Don’t click on links, attachments or images from people not known to you. Criminals often hack one account and use that account to send malware to people in the contact list.
Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are categorized as any business with less than 200 staff.
“SMEs need to ask themselves – if they were a victim of a cyber-attack, how much immediate business would they lose, could they restore their system and data, and would their customers have confidence in their organization in the future?”