Owning a business does not make you a cybersecurity expert

Owning a business doesn’t make you a cybersecurity expert and that’s ok. Just remember that cybersecurity should be a priority for every business owner. This creates a sticky situation because many small businesses view cybersecurity as an annoying task rather than a mandatory practice. With limited staff, resources and knowhow, it’s easy for cybersecurity protocols to get pushed down the priority list. 

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to keep your computers and operating systems in good health with very little technological prowess. Use this guide as a starting point and follow the steps outlined below to ensure that your business’s online operations are secure.

Train employees

The foundation of cybersecurity is surprisingly low tech and begins in the office. Start by establishing a series of basic security policies for yourself and employees. Requiring strong passwords and defining appropriate internet usage are a great starting point. Beyond that, lay out some policies detailing how to handle sensitive customer information and other vital data.

Other topics to cover: 

Keep a clean machine

Cyber hygiene’ is a techie buzz phrase that’s starting to creep its way into business vernacular. It refers to the practices and habits that ensure a computer’s security software, web browsers, and operating system are up to date and data is backed up. These are critical defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. 

  • Step 1: Stop ignoring those pesky notifications and update the software on your computer as directed. 
  • Step 2: Set antivirus software to run a scan after each update. 
  • Step 3: Don’t ignore Step #2… it’s really important!

Create a mobile device policy

Smart phones can create significant security challenges when they aren’t managed properly. Would you bring your work computer on a bike ride or to the local pub? Probably not, but these days it’s almost unimaginable to go anywhere without your phone sitting next to you. Phones are constantly lost or stolen and when they land in the wrong hands, they’re a direct key into your business’s system. If you or employees use personal phones for business purposes or to access a company network, require everyone to password-protect their devices. 

Get Cyber Liability Insurance

This one also sounds techie, but it’s really not. Cyber Liability Insurance is a class of business insurance that protects the digital components of your business. In the same way that General Liability Insurance or a Business Owners Policy covers the physical pieces of your operation, Cyber Insurance covers the intangible pieces like email, software, data and computer networks. It’s a business’s safety net against hackers and cyber crime. In the unfortunate event that a business suffers a data breach, Cyber Insurance can lessen the financial blow, reduce downtime, cover legal expenses, and get things back on track.

Cybersecurity may seem like a big and complex issue, but a few common sense security measures paired with Cyber Insurance can carry you a long way. Visit us online or call (800) 590-7292 to receive more information about Cyber Insurance and browse a library of free resources related to cybersecurity and business management for small business owners.

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