Cyber security is one of the hottest topics small and mid-sized businesses face. Dealing with security issues is not always clearly understood, which can leave many businesses vulnerable to serious threats. According to CNBC, small businesses are now the target of 43% of online attacks, costing business owners an average of $200k.

According to the Small Business Administration, "88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyber attack." Many small businesses do not even know where to begin when it comes to protecting their business from cyber attacks. Five 9's Communications provides IT support, cyber security protection, and other tools designed to protect your small business from cyber threats.

Common Threats to Address

There are a number of threats business owners face, including:

  • Malware - malicious software designed to attack a computer.
  • Viruses - harmful programs designed to spread to other connected devices; giving access to cyber criminals to obtain valuable company data.
  • Ransomware - software that causes restriction to a computer until the ransom is paid. Phishing emails are the most commonly used method to install ransomware.
  • Phishing - traditionally sent as emails or malicious websites designed to infect systems with software that collects sensitive company information.

What is Your Businesses Risk Level?

It is important for businesses to take the time to determine their risk level, in fact this is one the three laws in dealing with cyber security! If a business doesn't understand where they are vulnerable, an attack will eventually happen. Here are three questions to ask when you evaluate your businesses risk level:

  • Are we offering user training on phishing emails, viruses, and potential attacks?
  • Are we currently using any type of program to protect our business from cyber attacks (ex: antivirus software, system monitoring programs)?
  • Do we have company policies pertaining to computer usage (ex: are employees responsible for installing software updates)?

Managed IT Support

Most small businesses do not have the budget to hire an internal employee for IT support. However, in a technology-driven world, IT support is vital. What can you do? Consider outsourcing your IT needs to Five 9's Communications where we provide managed IT services. Here are just a few of the reasons why IT support is vital:

  • Data storage and professional management
  • Protection against cyber crime
  • Improved staff productivity

Data Backup

The third law of cyber security is ensuring you have a clear way to backup your system. It is essential to backup your system as each computer contains valuable company information from Word documents to spreadsheets, databases, human resource files, financial information, and more. Having a daily, weekly or at least monthly backup in place will allow you to keep your business running if there ever is a data attack that compromises your system.

Things You Can Do to Protect Your Business

If you take away anything from learning about cybercrime, that is to learn about the importance of employee training! Employees are the leading cause of data breaches. Annual training of employees need to include the following:

  • Identifying a phishing email
  • Using smart Internet browsing methods
  • Avoid downloading anything suspicious
  • Creating and using strong passwords, and changing them frequently
  • Protection methods of sensitive company information

Employee training is a great place to start and should be followed up with protection measures. Make sure you are using antivirus software and keeping it updated. Software vendors normally provide regular updates to ensure their clients are protected with the latest security measures against new attacks and threats.

We recommend using firewall and encryption tools to secure your network and protect it from unauthorized individuals. Password protect your router, and make sure your employees are using mobile devices that are secured if they are allowed access to your WiFi network.

Whether you are in need of cyber security protection, or you are seeking assistance with IT support, contact our office. Five 9's Communications provides a number of services to assist with your small business needs.