10 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyber Crimes

Smartphones, laptops, and tablets, have boosted efficiency and communication from the field to the office and back, but they also open your business up to cyberattacks.

A recent survey reported by the Associated Press finds that small-to-medium-sized businesses — like many remodeling companies — are increasingly the targets of such attacks. 

Every organization is vulnerable, but most smaller businesses don’t have the resources to take the proper security measures for their data and devices. There’s a lack of dedicated IT departments and not enough room in the operating budget, survey respondents said.

Most cyberattacks take the form of phishing or social engineering scams, targeting computer, smartphone, or tablet users through email links and attachments. Once a link or attachment is clicked, malware is downloaded on the device, and may spread to other systems. 

But you can add layers of security for you, your business, and your team.

How to Protect Yourself

The Small Business Administration has the following tips to help protect you, your devices, and your data:

  1. Protect against spyware, viruses and malware by installing anti-virus and anti-spyware on company computers.
  2. Secure your networks behind a firewall with encryption.
  3. Establish policies for employees regarding handling sensitive client information.
  4. Educate your team about cyber-attacks and hold them accountable for security.
  5. Require strong passwords on all devices and cloud-based services — and change them regularly.
  6. Employ best practices on banking and payments.
  7. Backup business data regularly
  8. Control all employee devices to prevent theft — a stolen phone, tablet or laptop could be the easiest way to breach your business data.
  9. Create a mobile device security plan to ensure all employees have updated password protections, encryption, and security apps on all devices.
  10. Protect all the pages on your public-facing website, not just the contact pages.

For more detailed information from the SBA, start with its cybersecurity overview. The Federal Trade Commission also has resources to help: Cybersecurity for Small Businesses.

More on this on PowerTips TV

A great PTTV Episode on this topic can be found on our PowerTips TV YouTube Channel – We have more than 60 episodes covering everything from HR to Production to Finance, Marketing and More! – Check out the Cyber Crime Episode Here >>

Ep.29: Talking Job-Site Safety with Dale Nikula

Accidents happen on the job,  and luckily most are relatively minor — cuts, bruises, maybe stitches — but they can be more serious. Then everyone tightens up and pays attention, but that attention tends to fade. Getting jobs done once again becomes the focus, with maybe a few thoughts toward what could have happened. But a major accident could put your company out of business.

Dale Nikula and his company faced the worst that could happen. In 2003, one of his project managers died of head trauma after a fall.

In this episode, Dale talks to Tim and Steve about leading his company through that loss, and getting through the regulatory investigations. He had to take a hard look at how to keep his company thinking about safety — all the time.

Dale is the president of Encore Construction in Dennisport, MA. After working for his father for many years, he founded his own company in 1995 as Dale R. Nikula Co. Inc. Dale had established a reputation as an outstanding carpenter, but clients quickly discovered that he was equally talented at leading people and projects. The company grew steadily as word spread about Dale’s high standards and commitment to his clients. In 2003, Dale renamed his company Encore Construction to reflect the team of carefully selected project managers, designers, and craftspeople that joined him to serve customers.

After the fatal accident, Dale took important steps to keep his company together and get through the investigations. But he went a step farther, concentrating on how to keep his job sites safer, including hiring a retired OSHA official to consult and help create a formal safety program. It has to become a part of your production program, Dale says, and go beyond merely meeting requirements. He shows you how to create safer work sites, including:

  • Managing safety on a day-to-day basis
  • The critical nature of a job-site presence
  • Why OSHA never considers anything an accident
  • Naming a safety officer who’s in the field
  • Making the safety officer accountable
  • The two-strike rule
  • Covering safety in your budgets
  • The quality of safety equipment
  • Getting sub-contractors to buy in
  • And more…

Safety has to be top-of-mind, not an afterthought. One accident can put you out of business overnight. It’s a heavy topic, but one you should face head-on.

Listen to Episode 29 >>