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Do I need a small business cybersecurity plan?

A cybersecurity plan sets out how you will handle security measures in your small business. It ranges from addressing employee access to setting up firewalls so third parties cannot access your network.

Every small business should have some kind of cybersecurity plan in place. It is essential to protect client data, including credit card information, phone numbers, names, and addresses. Clients expect that you will protect their data, and the law requires it in most situations.

A small business cybersecurity plan will often address the following security issues:

  • Employee training.
  • Limiting access.
  • Creating passwords and other login protocols.
  • Securing Wi-Fi connections.
  • Backing up data.
  • Using firewalls.
  • Utilizing anti-virus software, anti-malware, and encryption.
  • Mobile device access plans.

Creating a plan is one of the best ways to stop a cyberattack before it happens. However, you should also consider what will happen if an attack occurs. A quick response once you realize that your data has been compromised can save you thousands of dollars and hours of work.

An incident response plan should address things like:

  • Who an employee should contact once they realize there has been an attack or a data breach.
  • Information about where data backups are stored and how to reach them.
  • When to contact law enforcement or the public about a data breach.

Address these issues now, before you need them. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers a helpful planning tool that you can use to create a cybersecurity plan that fits your business. It might also be beneficial to speak with an attorney about a data breach's legal implications and how you need to address it as part of your plan.

What are some small business cyberattack examples?

Examples of cyberattacks on businesses vary widely. They range from ransomware to simple employee infiltration.

  • Phishing. Phishing is a scam that encourages small business employees to perform certain actions. For example, clicking on a link in an email or downloading an attachment can be enough for a hacker to access private systems or information.
  • Insider attacks. An insider involves an employee or other closely linked individual gaining access to the system and sharing information, often selling it online.
  • Malware. This type of malicious software can shut down your systems and network. It can also access your network to collect data or merely observe your business operations.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs). This type of attack simply hacks into your operations and watches your business to gather information. 

Ransomware is also becoming increasingly popular among criminals. This type of attack involves encrypting your data so you cannot access it and demanding payment to regain access. Of course, because you are dealing with criminals, paying the requested funds does not always mean that you will get your information back.

What are the best small business cybersecurity solutions?

Having a plan is the best way to help you deal with cyberattacks. Think about the type of data that your company collects and uses. Is access limited to that data? Are there protections in place? 

Working with your IT provider or an outside vendor to do an audit can be a good way to start this type of analysis. The audit will help you address weaknesses as part of creating your cybersecurity plan. It can be helpful to make written policies for employees to follow including your:

Having a Non-Disclosure Agreement with your workforce that addresses client data and proprietary information, in addition to security software and training, is a good idea as well.

What is cybersecurity awareness training?

Cybersecurity awareness training is a method to educate yourself, as a small business owner, and your employees about the importance of cybersecurity in your company. It allows you to recognize and address risks that you may not have realized even existed in your company.

If your systems have been breached and you are concerned about liability for possible theft of customer data, or other liability issues relating to a cyberattack, talk to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for fast and affordable advice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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