If you think big companies are the only targets of cybercrime, you’ve got another think coming. Businesses of any size, from two to twenty thousand, are open to cyberthreats. In an interview with BusinessPundit.com, Robert Gorby, Global Head of Small Business Propositions for software security company AVG, has suggestions about what small business owners can do to protect themselves online.
According to Gorby, the top web-based threats are:
- Social networking sites It’s easier for a large company to block such sites as Facebook, but small companies looking for cheap advertising and brand building can’t dismiss them as too dangerous.
- Spam and email Despite repeated warnings about opening email from shady senders, it’s still a viable method for hackers.
- Instant messaging Employees who are unfamiliar with IM can unknowingly unleash viruses or malware sent via IM files.
- Unsecure business websites Small businesses are at risk just as their large company brethren. Hackers can compromise sites for even short periods of time to hijack data.
- Insiders Not all threats come from outside the company. Employees, partners, and clients are all potentially dangerous.
How to prevent security threats
Prevention trumps cure every time. To discourage a cyberthreat, carefully consider your company’s policies, technologies and processes.
Policies Document and make known to staff acceptable-use policies for company use and create password policies to ensure hardware is protected.
Technology Stay updated on security patches for software. Make sure computers, servers and file storage have sufficient security programs loaded, including firewalls.
Processes Communicate your company security policies to your staff and make sure they are appropriately trained. Establish backups for company files and data. Document and handle security breaches and be sure all viruses and other threats are removed.