Cyber security is the same concept as what we used to refer to as information technology security a decade ago. These days though, the field not only encompasses computers and networks, but also apps, programs, and data. Cyber security systems are in place to help to prevent hacking, malware, ransomware, and viruses.
Cyber security should now be a major concern of any small business owner that collects customer’s data including personal information like date of birth, where they live, any health records, or credit card information. A cyber security threat can range from being merely inconvenient to life-threatening, or can cause your business to go out of business.
Small businesses owners need to make sure that not only are their networks secured, but also their mobile devices, and any digital applications that they use in the daily running of business operations. Gone are the days where you could install a firewall program or require just a password to grant access to the company’s network. Small businesses need to have a comprehensive cyber security program in place or utilize a third-party company to do it for them.
President Obama created the first National Cyber Security Awareness Month for October 2015. The goal of this month is to educate and engage both the private and public sectors on cyber security and how it impacts our day-to-day lives and the world at large. Each week in October has a different theme that small business owners can use to discuss with their staff or the company they have brought on board to handle their cyber security. Hopefully, it will make it easier to pinpoint where security systems need attention and where small businesses are doing a good job.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month Themes
October 1-2: General Cybersecurity Awareness: 5 Years of Stop.Think.Connect.™
October 5-9: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work
October 12-16: Connected Communities: Staying Protected While Always Connected
October 19-23: Your Evolving Digital Life
October 26-30: Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals
It is a good thing that National Cyber Security Awareness Month is occurring, but it should not be the only time when your company reviews and addresses cyber security issues and concerns. In the past year alone, companies like Chrysler, Target, and Ashley Madison were the victims of hacking. Government agencies like the IRS, FBI, and even the Pentagon, plus other departments were all hacked over the past couple of years. Hackers are becoming much more sophisticated and are not just some disgruntled guys sitting in his parent’s basement seeing how far he can go with his hacking skills.
Hacking these days is not only to capture credit card numbers or for financial gain. Hackers are gaining access to systems for political and social issues as well. When there is a perceived injustice in the world, it is not uncommon anymore for professional hackers, like those behind Anonymous, to take matters into their own hands. They have gained access to social platform accounts, credit cards, and personal information and have shared that with the general public.
Hacking comes in many different forms these days, including from flying drones to even sophisticated weapons that are hacked over their WiFi capabilities and their targets can be changed without the shooter’s knowledge. Basically, if the Internet can access it, it can be hacked.
These examples go to show that hacking happens at all levels and that no one is immune. My Digital Shield® (MDS) protects your computer system by blocking those websites, links, or applications that could host malware, ransomware, or other hacking viruses. We can recognize when something has been downloaded from a new source and block it so it does not affect your small business computer systems. MDS helps to reduce the risk that your system is under and help to identity when there is an issue or when the system is under attack.
Andrew Bagrin, Founder and CEO of My Digital Shield, a leading provide of Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) for small businesses. With more than 17 years of experience in IT and network security, Andrew has been quoted in a variety of media outlets, including the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Small Business Computing, Columbia Business Law Review, and Business Solutions Magazine.