Cyber Security: Are You Up to Code?

A recent study conducted by AppRiver found some rather startling information. If a major data breach hack were to target small businesses today, almost half of them would lose everything.

Why? Because more than half don't have the proper cyber security parameters in place to protect from anything catastrophic. For many small businesses, cyber security is an added luxury, or something that goes on the back burner while the business focuses on sales and income. Unfortunately, in this new age of digital hacks and attacks, that can no longer be in the case. Businesses in certain industries, in fact, consistently learn this the hard way. Data shows that small businesses in financial and healthcare sectors are consistently targeted, and just this past quarter more than 40% suffered from some sort of attack.

Thankfully, there are solutions.

Internet literacy is a big part of combatting cyber attacks.  If you have a full-time IT team, you're likely covered from most blatant attacks, but knowing your way around the basics of cyber security is still important. After all, hackers and internet bad guys get craftier and bolder by the day-- and what may have once worked in warding them off could very well not be as effective today.

The first thing to know when it comes to cyber security is that all security plans are not created equal. If a deal seems too good to be true, it may likely be. When choosing a program or company to help with your cyber security needs, do your research. See what protections they offer, what contingency plans they have. You want to be confident that your site isn't just in good hands-- but that it's in the very best hands for your budget.

Secondly, it pays to understand how to combat cyber security breaches on your own. Keeping the use of external devices on a corporate server to a minimum can limit the amount of access a hacker or virus has to your system, making it more difficult for them to get through. Updating your systems and software frequently helps make sure the security protocols within applications and platforms themselves are primed and ready to go. Securing wireless connections (usually done through your internet service provider) helps make sure you know who's accessing your network at all times. And investing in and enabling a firewall-- a digital or physical device that helps filter inbound and outbound traffic between a network and the internet-- can help prevent unwanted and dangerous IP addresses from accessing sensitive information through roundabout means.

Finally, don't be afraid to consult an expert. Many IT consultancies offer affordable solutions to help you create a plan to maximize the digital security of your business. Working with a trusted consultancy can help ensure you stay up to date with the latest in security and technologies.

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