Be Cyber Smart
Be Cyber Smart

As we start Cybersecurity Awareness Month let’s focus on how to be cyber smart! Fancy clichés aside, being cyber smart will help you protect your small business from common cybersecurity threats. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has put together a great tip sheet starting with the basics of good cybersecurity practices. The NCSA focuses on these basics to start the month with:

  • Make a long, unique passphrase
  • Passphrases aren’t enough
  • When in doubt, throw it out
  • Keep a clean machine
  • Back it up
  • Own your online presence
  • Share with care
  • Get savvy about wifi hotspots

Adding to the basics of being cyber smart

While a great tip sheet, I would like to add a couple additions to taking that next step in becoming cyber smart.

Knowing your data

This just might be one of the most important next steps to consider. Once you have the basics down, it is important to know and understand what data your small business is protecting by implementing the basics from above. Your small business probably has a lot of data, but not all data is equal. Here are some different types of data that you may have:

  • Intellectual property
    • Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Copyrights
  • Personally Identifiable Information
    • Names, SSN, Drivers License Numbers, DOBs
  • Customer data
    • Client Lists, Contracts, Buying Habits, Credit Cards, Financial Accounts, PII
  • Employee data
    • Employee Lists, Salaries & Wages, Financial Accounts, PII
  • Business data
    • Operational, Emails, Appointments, Strategies
  • Business critical data
    • Any data that when not available would result in failure of business operations

Cybersecurity training and awareness

The second addition I want to add for our next steps after the basics is cybersecurity training and awareness. This plays a critical role in ensuring everyone at your small business can execute the basics of cybersecurity every day! And the best thing is, you do not have to be an expert to lead training and awareness. Talk about phishing emails, strong passwords, knowing your data, the good cyber habits from above, and also the bad cyber practices that we have discussed in a previous Security Byte!

For more information on creating good cybersecurity practices and being cyber smart, check out Small Business, Big Threat!