May 16, 2017 – The recent WannaCry ransomware that has infected more than 200,000 computer systems across 150 countries serves as yet another reminder to the impact a cyber attack can have on your business and data.
WannaCry ransomware locks users out of their computers by exploiting a vulnerability in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows. The ransomware then demands money from users who want to regain control of their data. Once it infects one computer, it will spread to every computer connected to the same network within seconds.
While the WannaCry ransomware has been slowed, it is far from stopped and the effect it will have on U.S. businesses has yet to be realized.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attacks
Don’t mistake the fact that your business is small or local to mean it’s safe from hackers, viruses, malware, or a costly data breach. As large companies continue to get serious about data security and dedicate entire teams to the matter, small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets. Data thieves are searching for the path of least resistance, and if your business isn’t secure, you are vulnerable.
Even if you don’t have an IT team or the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer and security systems, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of a cyber attack on your business:
- Train employees in cyber security principles.
- Install, use, and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business.
- Use a firewall for your Internet connection.
- Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available.
- Make back-up copies of important business data and information.
- Control physical access to your computers and network components.
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure and hidden.
- Require individual user accounts for each employee.
- Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software.
- Regularly change passwords.
If you’d like to learn more about cyber security and how you can further protect your business, please contact your North Risk Partners advisor. Don’t have an advisor? No problem. We’ll help you find one.
This blog post is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.