Securing Your Online Assets from Cyber Threats
Whether you own a CPA practice, a dry cleaner, a restaurant, or any other kind of business, it is one of the most valuable assets you possess. If built and maintained properly, there is no reason why you cannot sell your business someday to secure a comfortable retirement or pass it down to the next generation. In either case, it is important to do everything possible to protect your business.
These days, most businesses have an online presence. In addition, a growing number of businesses conduct some form of commerce on the web. Generally, larger companies have the resources to secure their digital assets from cyber-attacks but small businesses must approach this in a much more efficient manner.
Here are some essential tips for small businesses to secure their online assets from malicious attacks:
Implement secure procedures for your employees: Your employees need to be trained to take your online data as seriously as possible. Be sure you have strong password requirements and a requirement to change their password regularly, such as every 30 days. In addition, limit employee use of the Internet to only what is essential to conduct business. This may require some kind of filtering software that will block out certain sites.
Keep your computer systems clean: Run regular updates to your computer systems and invest in effective anti-virus software and other types of security. Generally, “free” cyber defense software will not protect your business the way it should because these programs do not stay up to date as quickly as their paid counterparts do. A free software program may be adequate for a home computing network but when your business is at stake, it is important to make your digital assets as secure as possible.
Set up a secure firewall: Make sure all your online assets are protected by a secure firewall. This includes employees that work from home. They should be required to have a minimum level of security when they work within the company network. Along these same lines, be sure that the Wi-Fi network you have for your business is secure from outside hackers. If you run a retail shop and want to offer Wi-Fi to your customers, set up a separate unsecured network that is not connected to your internal business data.
Depending on the type of business you run, there will be other measures you will want to take to ensure the integrity of your data and that of customers as well. Be sure to consult with a business intermediary to help strategize methods to keep your business safe and to ensure it will yield top dollar when it comes time to sell and move on.