First Things, First. What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the combination of steps a business or individual takes in order to protect themselves and important data from attack or unauthorized access.

Those steps can include many different action items, but we’ll guide you through our top cyber security tips for small businesses below.

Protect Your Business With These Steps

1. Identify your key technologies and data.

Know which software is used to keep track of your important data, and find out what device that software is stored on. You may even want to write down the detailed information of your hardware and software, such as the serial number and support information, in case of emergency.

Another aspect business owners can fail to protect is their inventory list.

Ideally, inventory should be rechecked monthly and each time it’s checked, a copy should be stored in multiple places.

2. Protect that data by implementing safety measures.

There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk for a cyber attack.

Those steps include backing up your files, using unique passwords, keeping your software updated, and making sure all devices are password-protected.

3. Detect threats or compromised data.

Pay attention to security-related alerts, and then train employees to catch and report them to the proper personnel. You can dig into security threats deeper by monitoring network traffic for unusual patters, analyzing disk health for potential storage issues, and identifying when messages have been blocked by email filters.

4. Respond quickly to the attack.

Create a response strategy so your business can continue running smoothly, even in the midst of an attack. This is when you’ll call upon the back-up information you’ve gathered, and when you’ll contact your appointed incident response specialist and legal professionals.

5. Recover by reevaluating your computer security technologies.

Consider implementing a more detailed disaster recovery plan than you previously had in place. Also, find out if you need to notify your customers as well as additional parties of the data breach. The state or federal government dictates data breach notification requirements, so look to them for additional guidance.

How much do you actually know about IT security? Find out right now. Just go to iowacyber.com and take the FREE cyber security Q&A course. And while you’re there, check out their additional training opportunities.

Additional resources:

1. Iowa Small Business Development Center - Cyber Security

2. National Cyber Security Alliance - Stay Safe Online

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