Government Warns of Computer Network Attacks

According to a September 20, 2012 Reuters article, Ashton Carter, Deputy U.S. Defense Secretary, has warned that U.S. businesses are not doing enough to shore up their vulnerability to cyber attacks. His hope is to raise awareness among business owners, small and large alike, to take steps to protect themselves.

This means that small businesses must now face the challenge of protecting their computer networks, in addition to the many other challenges that all businesses face in today’s competitive business environment. Here are a few small, yet vital, steps small businesses can take that will help them protect their business interests in the event of a large scale cyber attack.

Ramp Up Security

Not all businesses bear the same degree of risk from a cyber attack. Some businesses are almost completely handled online these days. There are many though, who, as of yet, do very little business online. If your business still operates mainly offline then you can afford a greater degree of risk when it comes to cyber security and do not need to invest as much money and resources to protect your computer infrastructure. However, if you do run a large portion of your business on the World Wide Web, then you’ll want to ramp up your security and invest heavily to do so—especially if your business operates solely online.

Invest in Cyber Liability Insurance

Not only are your business interests vulnerable to cyber attacks, but the personal and financial information concerning people who do business with you, or have conducted business with you in the past, is also at risk. Cyber liability insurance covers your company from the liability that arises should your computer network be breeched and the financial information about your customers gets into the wrong hands. Cyber liability insurance is a sound investment for anyone who conducts business of any sort online.

Prevent Cyber Attacks

Of course, prevention is the best cure in most things, including cyber attacks. Educate your employees about their actions in social media and how they impact the company they work for. Also keep everyone in your company up to date with the latest security information so that everyone can work together in an effort to prevent cyber attacks from putting everyone’s livelihood at risk.

While the federal government is taking steps to protect its own networks and cyber infrastructure, along with developing cyber weapons, small businesses need to be extra vigilant in not alone being aware of the rare threat of cyber attacks, but implementing prevention and precautionary steps as well.