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By Christopher Haymon of

Cybercrimes happen every day. Small businesses are especially affected by these digital misdeeds as they often lack the infrastructure or knowledge to put protections into place that will reduce the size of the proverbial target on their backs. Today, Top Gear Technologies shares insight that SMBs can utilize to recover from, prevent, and better understand cyber crimes.

A Recovery Plan Is The First Line Of Defense

Ask yourself: Does my business need IT security data protection? The answer is yes, no matter how small your business is. While you may not be able to prevent every possible infraction, you can put safeguards into place that will help you get back up and running quickly should you become the unfortunate victim of a cybercrime. Your recovery plan should outline your top priorities (such as which software or data sources you need back first) and create a roadmap that will help you and your employees get back to business as quickly as possible. Crucially, everyone involved in your backup plan should know their part and have a backup plan of their own.

A good guideline for your backup plan is to have three separate data/system backups in two different formats, such as on the cloud or external hard drive, and at least one of these should be located at a secure off-site facility.

Make Sure Your Systems Are Updated

Most operating systems, including Windows, must be backed up regularly. Help Desk Geek suggests enabling updates so that they take place automatically. You can plan your updates around your working schedule. For example, if your business operates from 6 AM to 6 PM, set your computer systems and servers to update in the overnight hours. The vast majority of big-name software is also designed to communicate with the manufacturer for routine updates. Unpatched, outdated, and unsecured software leaves your business vulnerable, making it much easier for criminals to walk through your digital door.

Your operating system and software are not the only programs you should keep updated. Your antivirus software is also important, and you should choose one that offers a full suite of features, including WebCam and microphone protection, anti-spam, and protection against malware and ransomware.

Humans Are The Weakest Link And Strongest Protection

Ironically, it is your workforce that makes more of a difference in whether or not you become a victim of cybercrime than all of the software updates in the world. Why? Because they are both the weakest link and your strongest line of protection. Make sure that you empower your employees by offering frequent training that allows them to spot potential problem areas. One such example is phishing. This type of attack is not new, but, because it relies on people’s trust, it’s still effective. According to Imperva, phishing happens when someone masquerading as a trusted contact convinces someone else to open an email, text message, or other form of communication. The opener is then provided with a link (that looks harmless) but secretly installs malware.

Other types of data breaches may occur when hackers forcefully break into your systems and gain access to passwords and other data. One smart way to sidestep this issue is to utilize a virtual private network, which essentially routes your information through an encrypted tunnel that turns data into something inaccessible to outside parties.

There are dozens of ways that you can protect yourself, your employees, and your customers. Those listed here are just a few. When you don’t want to make the mistake of leaving yourself vulnerable, start with a backup and recovery plan. Then, make sure that your systems are updated and that your employees know how to keep your system safe. You may not be able to prevent every instance of an attack, but you can get ahead of hackers and safeguard your digital assets.

Top Gear Technologies proudly serves Chicago, Illinois, and Naples, Florida. Call us at 773.609.4327 today.