Do Small Businesses Need to Worry About Cyber Security?
by Tameka Montgomery, SBA Official
- Created: November 5, 2013, 12:36 pm
- Updated: November 5, 2013, 12:36 pm
Did you know that cyber security is now one of the most debated topics in the world, mostly because all daily business is conducted over the internet? Hacking in to restricted files and stealing private data are common examples of a breach in cyber security.
SBA is offering a free online course to help you protect your business information online. Cyber Security for Small Businesses will help you to avoid breaches, measure your vulnerabilities, and use best practices to protect your business and your customer information.
President Obama designated the month of October as the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM), now in its 10th year. It is crucial that as a small business owner you are aware of the importance of cyber security as well as the risks involved in posting your business data online.
Do not assume that your business is not at risk:
- CNN reports nearly half of the data breaches that Verizon recorded in 2012 took place in companies with less than 1,000 employees.
- A Symantec report showed that 31% of all attacks in 2012 happened to businesses that had less than 250 employees.
A different Symantec report showed cyber-attacks were up 81% in 2011.
There a many small business owners that run a large part of their business over the Internet, without any security features. As a business owner, you should understand that even with the advantages of taking your business online, certain risks come along with it too.
And small businesses are not the only ones at risk. Recent headlines told of a hacker arrested for compromising federal employee and service member information. And if government data can be hacked, small businesses undoubtedly are not exempt from hacking.
Cyber Security for Small Businesses will help you learn more about the security principles you should keep in mind when online, as well as the ways you can protect your information and networks in case of a cyber-attack. Other factors, like creating contingency plans, setting up firewalls and creating backups are all part of the training and information that you will learn.
More than a 1,000 small business owners have taken part in computer security workshops hosted by SBA in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The online course is an extension of the workshops, making the resources more accessible for small business owners, and brings specific techniques to improve your information security practices right to you.
SBA’s resource partners -- SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women's Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and Innovation Clusters are also hosting training sessions to help business owners reduce their online risks and be aware of cyber security threats.
Take the time to be sure that your business is prepared. Take the free online course, visit your local SBA office or mentor, check out the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect. resource page, or brush up by reading these quick tips on cyber security.
About the AuthorIn her role as the Agency’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, Tameka Montgomery is responsible for overseeing the agency’s counseling and training resources and programs for America’s entrepreneurs.
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