Cybersecurity 101: Tips for Small Business

By Aaron Boigon, EVP | CIO Plumas Bank

Technology is as important to most businesses as quick reflexes are to a crocodile hunter; without it your business might end up missing a few important parts. This is because most businesses today, no matter the size or industry, are really technology companies. Not convinced? Here’s the test. Imagine your office with no computers, no network, and no internet. How long could the business run like this? A week? A day? An hour?

With so much at stake, I like to advocate a simple, common-sense approach to managing technology.

In today’s world, cyber-threats are prevalent and even small businesses (and the employees who work for them) can be targets. The threat landscape is vast and includes things like phishing, ransomware, and elaborate fraud schemes. This can seem daunting, so business owners and managers may not know where to start. Here are some practical first steps you can take:

  1. Train your employees. There are ample freely available resources on the internet that provide excellent information on how to recognize phishing or other cyber-threats. Make this training a part of your hiring process and ongoing employee development.
  2. Maintain up-to-date, licensed antivirus/antimalware software on all computing systems.
  3. Protect your company network perimeter with a hardware or software firewall that has been properly configured and installed.
  4. Filter web-browsing and email for all employees in order to block malware, spam, and dangerous sites. Consider further restrictions on computers that house important, private information such as client data, accounting information, human resource records, etc.
  5. Establish procedures for employee termination that include proper removal of access and password changes.
  6. Enforce strong passwords and enable two-factor/multi-factor authentication wherever it is supported.
  7. Require each employee to log in with a unique username and password so that access can be controlled and logged.
  8. Backup your data at least daily.

Cybersecurity is a key area of concern for Plumas Bank. We offer tips and information to keep cyber awareness top of mind. View more cybersecurity resources