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Protecting your small business from cyber attacks

As an entrepreneur, you likely spent a great deal of time and effort getting your business off the ground. Growing that business may consume much of your focus for a long time to come.

However, it's important not to overlook another key to success: protecting what you've already built. In today's technologically advanced world, that means keeping your enterprise safe from cyberattacks.

Why small businesses are particularly at risk

Most of the cybersecurity breaches we hear about on the news involve national companies with millions of impacted consumers. Yet small businesses are actually more vulnerable to these attacks, according to one source.

Cyber criminals target small businesses because they tend to have laxer security than large corporations with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. Small businesses might not even have the safeguards in place to be alerted of cyber attacks, letting hackers drain their accounts and steal customer information without a trace.

If you've seen the popular television show "Mr. Robot," you know just how crippling these hacks can be. They can destroy even the most sure-footed business in a matter of moments.

How to keep your business safe

Follow these tips to help ward off cyber attacks:

  • Set up two-step authentication for critical systems and bank accounts.
  • Equip your business laptops, cell phones, tablets and other devices with updated software, firewalls and antivirus protections.
  • Never use unsecure connections such as public Wi-Fi networks (unless you have a virtual private network).
  • Back up your data regularly onto a password-protected hard drive or secure cloud server.
  • Carefully vet cloud storage providers and any other IT vendors you do business with.
  • Train your employees on the importance of cyber security.
  • Consider getting insurance coverage for losses stemming from cyberattacks or fraud.

By making cybersecurity as much a priority as profits and growth, you can go a long way toward preventing these catastrophic setbacks.

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Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

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