Every computer is vulnerable to attack. Protecting your data and information technology systems is critical and may require specialized expertise. Depending on the particular industry and the size and scope of the business, cyber security can be very complicated. However, even the smallest business can be better prepared.
The consequences of such an attack can range from simple inconvenience to financial catastrophe. While a thief can only steal one car at a time, a single hacker can cause damage to a large number of computer networks and can wreak havoc on both your business and the nation's critical infrastructure.
- Back up your computer data.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
- Change passwords frequently.
- Unless you really need the ability to share files, your best bet is to do away with it.
- Use hard-to-guess passwords. Passwords should have at least 8 characters with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers.
- Make sure your co-workers know what to do if your computer system becomes infected.
- Check your computer operating system to see if it allows others to access your hard-drive. Hard-drive access can open up your computer to infection.
- Regularly download security protection updates known as patches. Patches are released by most major software companies to cover up security holes that may develop in their programs.
- Install multiple door locks and a high-tech security system at your office.
- Protect your computer from Internet intruders by using firewalls (software and hardware).
- Subscribe to the Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Awareness System, to receive free, timely alerts on new threats and learn how to better protect your area of cyberspace.
- Download a Cyber Awareness Month Fact Sheet.
- Visit the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) for the latest Cyber security updates.
- Visit Stop. Think. Connect. Small Business Resources for more tips and tools.