How prepared is your small business to deal with contemporary cybersecurity threats? If this question fills you with fear, it’s time to learn about the best practices and protect your company with a robust cybersecurity plan. Investing your time and resources in cybersecurity now can save you from the significant costs of lost or stolen data, hacked devices, and other problems in the future. If you have an interest in learning more about cybersecurity, check out this list of upcoming conferences that are taking place throughout Texas in the coming year. Keep reading to learn more about what cybersecurity is, what it protects again, and how you can implement the best practices at your company.
Cybersecurity encompasses a set of tools or approaches to protecting information online. For small businesses, this means securing the integrity of their website and internal computer network. It's also essential to keep sensitive customer information confidential and protect against external threats such as hackers as well as data theft or information tampering from inside the company. Finally, a good cybersecurity policy will help a small business recover from both accidental IT problems such as power outages as well as adversarial attacks.
Adopting cybersecurity best practices for your small business isn’t something to “get around to” when you have the time or resources to devote to it. In today’s business climate securing your internal and external IT infrastructure is practically a required part of operating a small business, the next step after filing for an employer tax ID. As larger, household-name companies--whose data breaches have been making headlines with startling regularity--adopt the best security measures available, hackers go after easier targets like small businesses with weak security. Overall, cybersecurity can protect your company from these common threats:
It has been said that knowledge is power and this is certainly true when it comes to Internet scams. As scammers become more sophisticated, it’s harder to differentiate between authentic messages and scams. The more you know about what potential scams look like, the better you’ll be able to identify and avoid them.
The first step in building awareness about potential scams is to follow the trends in your area. According to Click 2 Houston, the most common scams in Houston that could affect small businesses are:
In addition to news reports about trending scams, you can always turn to institutions you trust for advice on identifying and preventing scams. Central Bank’s Online Security Tips provides useful information on all aspects of online security and can be easily shared with your employees. We also have information about Business email compromise (BEC), in which one or two employees are targeted for sharing sensitive information or business funds with scammers. You can print our BEC diagram to post as a reminder on employee bulletin boards.
Beyond local news, statewide resources are a great place to find relevant information on current scams. Ken Paxton, attorney general of Texas, shares these 5 scam tip-offs:
To report a consumer fraud complaint in Texas, click here.
Now that you have a better understanding of what cybersecurity is, as well as the threats and scams it can protect you from, you might be feeling empowered but also a little overwhelmed. Where should you start and what do you need to do to ensure your business is equipped with the cybersecurity best practices for mobile and online security? Here are 10 relatively simple ways to build your cybersecurity strategy. We also recommend the FCC’s free tool for creating a customized cybersecurity plan.
We are a Houston-based community bank with more than 60 years of experience helping businesses succeed on their own terms. If you need help with cybersecurity, merchant services, or other business banking products, Central Bank offers local expertise and customized solutions to your everyday needs. Contact us today to get help or visit one of our four locations in Houston.