cyber security for small business

A small business, or home bases business, with a small array of computers obviously does not have the resources to combat security attacks like ransom ware or hacks. While you may not have the resources or technical ability to combat these attacks there are some things you can do before or after to minimize its affect on you or your business.

Important: Always keep a copy of any software and software keys so if the worst happens you can reload the OS and software.

Before an Attack

Update Software

The most important part of any cyber security plan is to keep all software up to date. Weather you run Macs or PC’s you should always keep the operating system and critical software up to date.

Backup

We hear this a lot but very few small businesses actually do it because if you ask tech people they say servers which can be quite expensive. For small businesses you can use what we call a NAS. A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location for authorized network users.

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They can range from a couple of hundred dollars and you connect it to your network. It usually has at least 2 hard drives which you can then back up your files onto one of its HD and then it copies all the files onto the second and they are continually syncronizing. One fails and you simply replace and it syncs it all.

We personally then backup to our Amazon S3 account for an offsite solution. Many of the slightly more expensive NAS storage devices has software to help with the backup management.

Antivirus Software

The second part of the plan is to have up to date antivirus software on each computer. Paid versions will always provide much more control to management over this area.

Restrict Access

Locking any USB or other external portsso you can monitor any people who use these computers by restricting use of USB sticks, memory drives, CD/DVD etc unless they are scanned first. This can be done with software or physical locks or physical removal.

 Education
The final part of the plan is to educate all staff etc on how to access email and websites. If it has a link check to see if it is the same as the sender etc. If not submit for scanning. Fro example you get an email from your bank but on looking at the link it has a link like http://bankname.unknown.ag then I would be highly suspicious.
In our office we use Google Aps and Gmail to access emails. Google has introduced an anti-virus scanning service to Gmail. Each time users send and receive attachments, Gmail will automatically scan them for viruses. … Mail uses Symantec software to scan for viruses.

After an Attack

If you are attacked usually because one of the above was not actioned then the simplest way to fix the problem is to reformat the hard drive and reload OS and software. If you store critical files on the computer then simply remove the drive and replace and install sofwtware and OS.

You can then put the HD in what we call a caddy and access after doing a full scan with antivirus software.

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