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Take Cybersecurity Seriously and Protect Your Columbus, IN Small Business

Cyberattacks with potentially devastating effects are increasingly aimed at small businesses. Successful entrepreneurs incorporate cybersecurity best practices and recovery plans in their daily operations, including training employees to detect and avoid cybercrime and implementing strong backup and password protection systems. Today, the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce outlines a few basic steps to better protect your data and computer systems and safeguard critical customer and company information.

Considering Risks Is a Good First Step

Assess your company's risk of a cyberattack with an inventory of at-risk assets and potential vulnerabilities. Many small business owners conduct their own cybersecurity risk assessment using off-the-shelf tools for software and computer access and control. Are your hardware and software up-to-date? Do you use public networks? Have you installed anti-virus and anti-malware programs on all computers? Do you use two-factor authentication and good password hygiene? Answering these simple questions helps you gain a basic understanding of your most vulnerable weak points and potential risks.

A comprehensive analysis by an accredited professional service is recommended to increase your cybersecurity confidence or if your business is subject to mandatory certification requirements. Detailed assessments consider where potential cyberattacks could come from, how hackers could gain access to your system, and how best to respond or recover from a malicious data breach. Sophisticated ransomware attacks, fraudulent email phishing, and elaborate cyber scams are all more frequent and require heightened security and assessment protocols to counter effectively.

Find the Right Solutions for You

The best cybersecurity practices involve knowing what you are up against and implementing system-wide training. Increase the general awareness of threats and the importance of cybersecurity for your employees with a free online cybersecurity training course, or consider a more comprehensive educational program suited to your needs.

Security updates are often provided with software upgrades so it is important to maintain and install program updates as they become available. Removing adware, disabling Bluetooth and other unused or unnecessary communications options, and deleting older programs and versions are essential practices to reduce threats and vulnerabilities. Separate personal and work emails, and use a password manager tool to introduce biometrics, layered encryption, and password monitoring. Some free online password managers even automatically improve weak passwords and independently test your password strength.

Using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your connection is an excellent choice for many business operations relying on e-commerce and public networks. Backing up files regularly to an off-line secure location is also important in the event your system or files are compromised.

Managing Data Access

One of the most prevalent threats to data security is mismanaged access to sensitive information. When you provide access to tools like Google BigQuery to clients, you need a system to manage access and permissions in order to protect both your data and your customers. Data governance tools like those from Privecera make it possible for you to easily manage users and access while maintaining all the functionality your customers want and expect.

Additionally, be careful to only use trustworthy tools when dealing with situations that require files to be changed into different formats to accommodate different platforms. For instance, if you need to convert from PDF to doc, this free tool is a great option because in addition to being free, it’s also safe. 

Cybersecurity is Serious Business

Effective cybersecurity is a vital component of successful small businesses. Protect your business operations from cybercriminals with up-to-date software tools, increased employee awareness of threats and vulnerabilities, and proactive cybersecurity practices in data, password, and file transfer management.

Membership in the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce offers invaluable benefits to entrepreneurs in our community. Join us today!