If you are small business owner, you’ve probably heard about the catastrophic cyber attacks that are hurting hundreds of American businesses everyday and thought to yourself “this probably would never happen to me.” A recent Hiscox study showed that 7 out of 10 businesses are unprepared to deal with a cyberattack. While cyberattacks may be specifically targeting a business, a random cyber attack (non-targeted) is actually more common in today’s day and age. In this brief article, we shall explore some of the fundamental technologies and protocols that your small business should have in place, which will be explored in greater detail on Thursday, November 15 at our Innovate LA Lunch N Learn, “How to Keep Your Office Safe from Hackers” at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce. Please click here to register if you haven’t already.
Being a victim of a cyber attack is very costly to your business, whether you are a small business or large enterprise. Hiscox reports that the average cost of cyber security incidents in a year is $34,604 for small businesses and $1.05 million for large enterprises. These attacks not only create monetary damages, but also have indirect costs such as loss of reputation, loss of customers, and the human hours required to remedy the attack and repair all of the damages.
During our Innovate LA event, we will discuss in detail the ten cyber security tips for small businesses that both my firm and the Federal Communications Commission recommends, which are:
- Train employees in security principles (this commonly is done by an outside consulting firm such as my firm, Sean Story, Inc).
- Protect information, computers, and networks from cyber attacks (we will discuss specific enterprise-grade software available to you through Sean Story, Inc. that provides very strong protection that you can’t get from software purchased at big-box retailers).
- Provide firewall security for your internet connection (good firewalls will protect the network of computers and devices in your office from many outside random and targeted threats).
- Create a mobile device action plan.
Make backup copies of important business data and information (we will discuss my 3 backup rule, which includes backup in two locations you have access to and one secure automated cloud backup solution).
- Control physical access to your computers and create employee-specific user accounts.
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks with robust protocols and security rules.
- Employ best practices on payment cards.
- Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software.
- Have strong password and authentication rules, such as multifactor authentication.
This may all sound overwhelming at first, but once we break it down, it will be very easy to understand and implement. If you come to the lunch and learn, you will even have a plan in place for your own business on the next steps to ensuring optimal security for your small business!
InnovateLA is a two week, countywide celebration of the breadth of innovation and creativity within our region. From cleantech to gaming, aerospace to digital media and beyond, Los Angeles is a leading global center for innovation and entrepreneurship and we’re showcasing and celebrating that with a series of events, lectures and talks all over LA.