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5 Easy Cyber Security Tips for Small Businesses

Small business owners have many hats to wear and cybersecurity can be (and is) easily overlooked Here are five easy tips that can improve your business' security posture.

1. Think about security in everything you do.

Thinking about cybersecurity in everything you do is a critical strategy improving your business' security posture. You don't have be a cybersecurity expert, you just have to slow down and think about the consequences of your actions, which is the best part.

Before downloading a program on your work computer ask yourself if it comes from a reputable source. Instead of plugging in that USB stick you got a trade conference that may install malware on your computer, just go to the vendor's website.

2. Identify and secure sensitive data.

All data is not created equal and should not be treated equally. Restricting access to sensitive files is key not only in preventing data breaches but also in protecting yourself against the files being deleted or encrypted by adversaries looking for money. Locking down sensitive data on file shares is especially important.

3. Install Antivirus and Perform Regular Scans.

There are plenty of free anti-virus programs that can protect your computer and don't be hesitant in using them. I personally would recommend Avast but your favorite reputable anti-virus will do. Installing the programs is one thing but you also want to make sure that regular scans are configured and to periodically scan your network for vulnerabilities. Contact CyberCrest for more information how to setup an antivirus for your business.

4. Patch Often.

Don't procrastinate installing the latest patches/updates for your computers and mobile devices is important. These patches/updates come with security fixes for known ways of hacking into your system and most operating systems, including Android and IOS, will automatically notify you when they are ready to be installed. By delaying the installation of these patches and updates, you are giving adversaries an easy way to hack into your computer or mobile device.

5. Think Twice Before Opening Email Attachments or Clicking Links.

According to Verizon's 2018 Data Breach Investigations report, phishing and pretexting (lying to obtain access to sensitive data) account for 93% of all social engineering attacks (attacks that manipulate people in order to break into your network). Be very careful when opening attachments or clicking on links even if they come from someone you know. If something seems suspicious, contact the sender to verify that they really sent the email. If they didn't send the email contact your IT security lead.

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