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The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness for Small Businesses

Today’s businesses rely on technology more than ever to store valuable and confidential information. Cybercriminals are also more evolved in finding new ways to attack records, information, and finances – leaving no trace until it’s too late. According to IBM, in 2020, the average time to identify a cybersecurity breach was seven months while the lifecycle of an entire breach lasted almost 11 months until containment.  

National Exchange Bank & Trust participates in Cybersecurity Awareness month every October to help educate and protect small businesses throughout Southeastern Wisconsin from cybersecurity threats.  

How Are You Helping Combat Cybercriminals?

It only takes one opportunity at any time or place for cybercriminals to access information and cause a potentially detrimental attack to your business. As a small or medium sized business owner, you may not think you are at risk for cybersecurity breaches, but small businesses are especially large targets for cybercriminals.

What can you do this Cybersecurity Awareness month to be proactive about managing your businesses important information and educating employees? Here are a few things you and your employees can do this October to gain an advantage in the fight against cybercriminals: 

  • Learn what to do in the event of a breach
  • Develop a plan to protect your customers’ and employees’ personal information 
  • Seek out articles, free webinars, and other educational resources to share with your employees 
  • Learn about cybersecurity and current scams targeting your business.  

Cybersecurity and Your Business’s Technology

There are increasingly more methods and mediums that cybercriminals can hack into. Critical technology to the function of your business, such as WIFI-networks or routers, point of sales systems, copiers, fax machines, or printers are actually an invitation for cybercriminals if not properly monitored. Keeping up-to-date with best practices and general maintenance can help businesses stay proactive when it comes to securing your business tech. Some quick steps for protection to try this month include:  

  1. Making sure all software and operating systems used are up to date
  2. Check that software and operating systems are equipped with reliable anti-virus or antispyware protection
  3. Ensure devices like printers, copiers, and fax machines have encryption and overwriting 
  4. Audit password strength and other two-way authentication settings on everything from devices to social media accounts
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