In May, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski convened a roundtable discussion with IT leaders from across the public and private sectors to deliver a set of cyber security strategies to small and medium-sized businesses across the country.
This discussion was very prudent, given that small to medium-sized businesses are increasingly relying on the Internet and Information Technology in their everyday operations and as core competency for competitive advantage. However, many small and medium-sized businesses are under the mistaken impression that their size, or the minimal security steps they have already taken, will protect them from cyber threats.
On the most basic level, cyber criminals seek to steal personal information, such as credit cards, social security and bank account numbers and passwords. These new-age criminals use spyware, malware and other illicit applications to hijack computers and use them in larger criminal activities. Despite increased efforts to identify and stifle criminal enterprises, they continue to grow in number, reach and sophistication. Like all criminals, they constantly seek out the best targets of opportunity. Today, those targets are in the small business community.
Cyber security is a critically important consideration for businesses utilizing any form of Information Technology. PEAK Internet recommends that business managers maintain a network access plan and security detail, as well as consult the assistance of a technology management service to provide direct, hands-on guidance through this process. If you need help with your cyber security plans, contact PEAK Pro, a technology management and consulting service provided by PEAK Internet (http://pro.peakinternet.com).
The outcome of the FCC roundtable discussion yielded 10 Cyber Security Tips for Small Business (you can read more at: http://www.fcc.gov/cyberforsmallbiz):
- Train employees in security principles
- Protect information, computers and networks from viruses, spyware and other malicious code
- Provide firewall security for your Internet connection
- Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available
- Make backup copies of important business data and information.
- Control physical access to your computers and network components
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace make sure it is secure and hidden.
- Require individual user accounts for each employee
- Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software
- Regularly change passwords
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