Cyber crimes are a real threat--is your company prepared? Email
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 04:00 AM

cyber attackThe importance of securing your company's IT system and data have never been more important. With staff working remotely during the pandemic, new vulnerabilities arise. Business owners can help close up security gaps by stressing cyber safety as they do physical safety at work. 

In late July, the city of Lafayette suffered a cyber attack that took down their computer network. The small city paid a $45,000 ransom to the attackers in order to regain access to their files. Similar attacks have happened in small and large towns across the US, as well as at public libraries and medical centers. Taking the time to set up proper security protocols in your company can help prevent you from becoming the next victim.

Cyber attacks threaten everyone in your network
In the event of a cyber attack, whether it be via a phishing or malware scam or a more sophisticated scheme, your company risks losing access to the systems and data that you've built to keep your business running. You also risk compromising client data, which comes with its own set of liabilities and troubles. 

Communication and education are key 
Talk with your staff about cybersecurity. Be sure that they are using reliable passwords. "Password123" is unacceptable in 2020. Make sure that they are using passwords and two-factor authentication where available. Remember when "Zoom-bombing" was an issue for many online meetings? Some of those instances might have been avoided by adding a password to the meeting invitation. It may seem inconvenient to have to enter a password or get a text with a verification code, but taking an extra minute or less could mean the difference in whether a thief gains access to your private company data.

Think before you click
It's that tendency to look for shortcuts or easy paths that can cause a security risk. Encourage employees to "think before you click." Attachments and links within emails--even if the sender looks familiar--can pose a serious risks. If you receive an email with a link to check your account, don't click the link. Instead, go to the website of the account and log in as you normally would. That extra step to avoid clicking the link in an email is an easy way to avoid falling prey to a phishing scam.

The US Department of Homeland Security has a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) dedicated to securing our virtual and physical infrastructure. They offer alerts, newsletters, updates on current security threats, and tools for individuals and businesses on securing their electronic networks and data. Recommended tools include:

Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has used past cases to help educate business owners with Start with Security: a Guide for Businesses. View or download the guide

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Payroll tax deferral option set to take effect September 1
PPP loan forgiveness opens, but changes are anticipated
Lifescape earns a spot on the Inc. 5000 list

Welby flower trials contined in 2020--with adjustments