Cyber Security for Small, Regional Businesses in metro Washington DC, Northern Virginia & Maryland
This will be short and sweet, given (A) the widespread news and concern easily identifiable regarding the cyber risks for business owners, and (B) all the information already available for small businesses to take advantage of, to protect themselves.
The point is, there’s a large and quickly-growing cyber security risk, and lots of tools and resources to help, for small businesses in the metro Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs.
But it’s hard, shouldn’t be taken lightly, and can be very expensive for small and regional businesses to stay ahead of (or just up with) the cyber security risks. Plus, the whole topic is almost incomprehensible to small businesses who don’t actually have IT security help (or any IT help), from an employee or vendor.
Furthermore, whatever you do, there are no guarantees, no foolproof protections, no specific way to even purchase complete security (at any budget). If someone is determined enough to hack you and your business, they can and will cause some damage – directly or indirectly. You’re probably already hacked to some degree, and already suffering – actively (i.e. losing money and data) or passively (i.e. losing future customers or reputation).
You can do some things, however, to improve your “security posture” – start to better protect you, your business and customers.
- Commit to discussing security (perhaps make this a focused responsibility for someone), internally with your company, employees and vendors, on a regular basis (once a month, at least). Talk about concerns and issues; share advice, tips, and useful guides provided by agencies like the FCC, SBA, DoD and DHS; ask about the status of commonly-accepted security controls (like changing passwords). Is everyone running anti-virus? Are there any backups of sensitive information? Is spam showing up a lot, and does everyone avoid clicking on suspicious links?
- Have a plan, alternatives – don’t be unprepared to deal with a security breach or data loss – even if you’re not qualified, or don’t have the right tools to recover quickly. YOU WILL BE HACKED (just accept this). Who should you alert, your employees and customers? What should they do – and how will you communicate? Are there any alternate methods on the Internet, or via phone, mail & email, to stay in touch with your stakeholders? Do you have someone, or a vendor contact, who can start the diagnosis/recovery process quickly? Can you get to your backup data without a lot of time and trouble, even printouts?
- Get some advisory help – top-notch security expertise is hard and expensive to hire, but there are many, many IT professionals around who can provide assistance to the degree and cost you may actually need. From evaluating your risk (or a breach), to legal or insurance advice, to helping you implement basic and better controls, protections, processes. Particularly if they’re already helping you with other IT initiatives, like your digital marketing or web development.
KME Internet Marketing & Technology can help. We’re IT professionals and local cybersecurity students with a great deal of experience across many facets of digital technology, from web design to IT security. We can provide the next step in your cyber protection journey, in a way that is both practical and economical – a “better-than-basic” approach.
Improve your small or regional business online digital security posture – start methodically protecting yourself against the rapidly-growing cybersecurity threats on the Internet. KME’s “Small Business Cyber Security” service is now in Beta – offering rapidly-improving and increasing capabilities for cyber security protection, awareness and education in the Washington DC metro area – Northern Virginia, Suburban and Southern Maryland. Heavy discounts available for digital marketing & web development customers. Check out http://www.kmeinternetmarketing.com/small-business-cyber-security-better-than-basic for more information, or give us a call at 800-483-1262.