Basic Cyber Security Tips for Small and Medium Scale Businesses

Do not be too confident that you are too small to be attacked by cyber criminals. Protect your business with the following tips.

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In a recent study by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec, they found out that 83 percent of small and medium scale businesses have not formal cyber security plan, yet about 77 percent are confident that they will be safe from cyber threats.

This contradiction could be caused by a number of reasons. For one, small and medium scale businesses might feel that they are too small to be really targeted. Another reason might be because they do not fully understand the threats coming from the Internet.

Whatever the reason is, you have to wake up to the reality that like any business tool, the Internet is prone to abuse and misuse. And because of its enormous reach, the dangers to your business can also be bigger.

To help you get started, here are some basic security measures that you can implement in your business:

Make sure that your Security Suite is updated

Choose a security suite that includes all the necessary protections like anti-spyware, anti-malware, bot-net protection and the works. Make sure that it also scans files before it is downloaded into your computer.  Last, make sure that it is always up to date by downloading all the necessary patches.

Install a firewall

This is pretty basic but it is a pretty effective security measure to implement. A computer firewall blocks and prevents harmful information from entering your system. Make sure that it is never turned off in any computers connected to your system.

Limit access control to avoid downloading of unnecessary apps

Have your system administrator setup an access control list so that not all users will have free reign over the whole system. It limits their access to only certain parts of their computer and the Internet. As a result, not everyone will have administrative powers. Another effect of this is that it prevents users from downloading seemingly harmless apps like plug-ins and add-ons that are actually used by hackers to attack computers and systems. Limit the apps you use on your business to the important ones to also limit the chance of being attacked.

Implement a web-filtering system

A lot of harmful information is spread by clicking through an infected website. A web filtering system automatically blocks websites that are suspicious and inappropriate for work. If the website can be verified to be not harmful, it can be unblocked by your system administrator.

Use a dedicated computer for online transactions

If you are doing a lot of online transactions for your business, use a dedicated computer that is not connected to your main network and has no email capabilities. This makes it easier to monitor the activities of the computer and the lack of email capabilities limits the avenues hackers may use for attacking.

Do not depend on your partner’s security measures

Most 3rd party cloud service providers have security measures in place to make their services secure. RingCentral, for example, heavily encrypts their transmission lines to protect it from third party intruders. The problem occurs when the intruder targets the end-point instead of the transmission; the end-point, being your own system and computers. The protections of third parties do not extend to your own system so protect it with the above measures.

These are just some basic security measures you can implement to protect your business system. There is no guarantee that you will be fully safe but it will at least make sure that any intruder will have trouble attacking the system instead of it being an open buffet for cyber criminals.

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