Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? This month is all about making sure your online presence is secure.

A surprising number of small businesses are not as secure online as they think they are.

The National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec got together and did some research to find out just how secure small businesses are online. This is some of what they found:

77% do not have a formal written Internet security policy for employees.

63% do not have policies regarding how their employees use social media.

60% say they have a privacy policy in place that their employees must comply with when they handle customer information and half (52%) have a plan or strategic approach in place for keeping their business cyber secure.

More small business owners say they do not (45%) provide Internet safety training to their employees than do (37%).

Two-thirds (67%) allow the use of USB devices in the workplace.

Six in ten (59%) say they do not require any multi-factor authentication for access to any of their networks, and only half (50%) say that all of their machines are completely wiped of data before disposal.

That’s a lot of insecurity, but there are some things you can do. For instance, the FCC came up with a Small Biz Cyber Planner that allows you to create your own custom security plan by choosing various topics that apply to your business, and then clicking a button which incorporates all of the info into a plan for download. It’s also available in PDF format.

The US Department of Homeland Security also has a section that helps you with cyber security. They have a lot of security tips on their site for your home, your workplace, and your kids. They also have a National Cyber Awareness System you can sign up for, and it will give you alerts, bulletins, tips, and information on current activity that could be harmful to your computer.

Don’t underestimate your risk online. As we can see from the research results, too many of us are unprepared. But it won’t take much to secure your business from harm. Check out the links we’ve included in the post, and you’ll be able to put a plan together. If you have any problems, give us a call and we’ll give you a hand.

 

By Danny Tehrani