Open for business but also open for hackers?


(BPT) - Protection against cyber attacks is crucial for any small business. A surprising report says that the average small business website is attacked by bots 44 times a day; however, many small businesses can’t picture themselves as a target. It’s easy to think that only large companies are subject to cyber threats, and therefore, overlook developing cybersecurity systems and tools due to cost and lack of resources. Thus, this is the exact reason why hackers will target small businesses — they are expecting to find weaknesses. It is essential for small businesses to protect their data, develop backup measures, and build recovery plans to counteract cyber threats in order to reduce the risk of losing everything they've worked so hard to build.

As technology continues to advance, small businesses need to consider what new technologies are best to help them, and protect critical business and customer information. There are several key areas for small businesses to focus on.

Secure access

Customer and business data needs to be protected at all times and everywhere it lives within the business. Cyber attackers use automated-malware to constantly search for weaknesses in data security and then employ ransomware to seize data and systems to extort billions of dollars a year from businesses around the world. According to the FBI, more than 4,000 attacks occur every day. Technology features such as strong passwords, multi-factor authentication and time locks can help secure points of access, and there is a wide variety of hardware and software available to help small businesses do so. Some examples include:

* Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 provides a hardware-based approach to automatically manage user authentication, network access and data protection and can provide a higher level of security than software-based security.

* Fingerprint readers or facial recognition software for fast identification and/or dual authentication.

* A server that defends IT networks with multi-layer protection to block unwanted content.

Without previous technology experience, it can be hard for a small business to know where to start when it comes to purchasing and implementing cybersecurity solutions. Working with an IT advisor can significantly help with these decisions.

Secure network

Along with protecting access points, network data also needs to be protected at all times. Keeping a network secure protects valuable customer data.

Businesses can most effectively do so by leveraging encryption, which scrambles the data into unreadable code on your wireless network, making it more difficult for hackers to intrude on your information. Any kind of compromise to customer data can take down a small business; thus, taking strong precautions is crucial.

Data backup and recovery

Small businesses often do not back up their data. According to the FCC, nearly half of small businesses report that they never back up data. This puts small businesses at a major risk of losing key information if a data breach or disaster event ever occurs. Threats to data can come from cyber attacks, natural disasters or even user error. Making backup copies of data is like having an insurance policy to help ensure your business is able to continue operating under all types of circumstances.

Proactive data protection and backup can help small businesses reduce the risk of downtime, lost production and even loss of customers. Cloud backup services like MozyPro can automatically detect and back up new and changed files from laptops and servers even after the initial file is uploaded. This can provide a second line of defense against malware attacks. Management, compliance and other reporting requirements can be met, and the need for additional storage hardware can be reduced.

Staying protected

Keeping up with the fast pace of technological change can be difficult, but embracing and adapting new technologies can improve efficiency and provide a competitive advantage. Data backup and cybersecurity can protect business information from threats and keep systems running smoothly, something every small business needs.

For more on how you can improve cybersecurity where you work, contact Dell Small Business and find out how smart, secure tech can empower your company.