data_security.jpgSmall businesses are a huge part of our economy, and they are progressively reliant on information technology to store, process and communicate important information. That means that protecting your business information against increasing cyber threats is crucial to the survival of your company.

Follow these tips to increase your business’ cyber security and ensure the protection of important information:

Secure your networks. Protect your internet connection by applying a firewall and encrypting your important information. When creating a Wi-Fi network, it is critical to make sure it is secure and hidden from others. Set up your router or wireless access point so it does not broadcast the network name, also known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID), to keep your network hidden. You may also consider password protecting any access to the router.

Train your employees correctly. Establish basic security practices and policies among your employees, such as enforcing strong passwords and establishing appropriate guidelines for internet use. Creating guidelines regarding the protection and handling of customer information and other important data will keep your small business ahead of cyber threats.

Always backup important data and information. Frequently backup the data on all of your computers. Critical files to backup include word processing documents, databases, finances, spreadsheets and accounts receivable/payable files. Be sure to check for an automatic backup option so your files are never lost, and store the copies in the cloud or offsite.

Passwords and Authentication. Create strict guidelines for employee passwords. These guidelines can range from including special characters or using uppercase and lowercase letters, to requiring a specific length for each password. Encourage employees to not write passwords down or leave password hints around the office. To take it one step further, consider implementing multi-factor authentication that requires employees to provide additional information beyond a password to gain entry.

Following these tips will not only increase your overall security, but will also ensure the protection of your business’ important documents and information.