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3 Ways to Increase Cybersecurity Awareness at Your Small Business

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Cybersecurity issues are top of mind for many small and midsize businesses, thanks in part to high-profile threats like the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, which crippled hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

Ransomware, data breaches, hackers, and other cyberthreats are making headlines every hour of every day. Just one wrong click by a single employee can have disastrous results for your business. In the worst case scenarios, it could even shut the business down.

That’s why it’s never been more important to educate employees on how to protect themselves and the business from cybersecurity threats. And the good news is that you don’t have to spend a great deal of money to get started.

Here are three quick ways to increase cybersecurity awareness at your organization without breaking the proverbial bank:

1. Take advantage of free resources from the SBA

Many small businesses lack the budget needed to invest in deep-dive, instructor-led cybersecurity training courses. But that doesn’t mean budget-conscious companies need to skimp on security education. One place to look for free cybersecurity training resources is the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The SBA offers a 30-minute security training course that’s designed to get you and your employees thinking about the different types of cyberthreats. For example, students learn to identify the business that needs to be protected most, risk management best practices, and tips for avoiding a ransomware or malware infection.

U.S law enforcement agencies such as the FBI also offer a slew of cybersecurity resources, including cyberthreat bulletins and tips on how to avoid common scams.

2. Create a disaster recovery plan

Is your business prepared to protect its data and IT infrastructure in the event of a ransomware attack or some other type of cybersecurity threat? If not, now is the time to create a disaster recovery plan while raising awareness about cybersecurity in the process.

Meet regularly with employees to hammer out a plan. Questions to answer while creating the plan include: What data needs to be protected the most? Which backup and disaster recovery solution will we use? Which firewall and antivirus resources should we use? You can also use the time to review best practices for avoiding ransomware and other security threats.

Then take it a step further and use the plan to document how the company will react in the case of a fire, flood, earthquake, or any other type of natural disaster. The plan should include details about where work will be done if employees can’t reach the office and contact info for suppliers, customers, and employees. Just remember to communicate the plan to the company early and often, and be sure to update it every six months or so.

3. Hang up some posters

It might sound a bit silly at first, but posters and other types of displays can be a fun and colorful way to increase awareness about digital hygiene best practices. For example, they can serve as reminders that employees should always be suspicious of hyperlinks found in emails and never open an attachment from an unknown sender.

Cybersecurity training company Native Intelligence offers free cybersecurity awareness posters as well as email newsletters, daily security tips, and online training courses such as the “Seven Secrets of Security Awareness.” You can print the posters directly from their website.

With worldwide ransomware attacks and malicious hackers constantly, the time has never been better to launch a cybersecurity awareness campaign at your organization. These resources are sure to help you get started.

Norman Guadagno

Norman Guadagno

Norman Guadagno is the Senior VP of Marketing and Chief Evangelist at Carbonite Inc., a provider of cloud backup solutions for your home and business.