The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a security warning to prevent and reduce any threats of disruptive cyber activities that could result from recent geopolitical turmoil. All organizations – regardless of size – are urged to take steps to minimize these risks, quickly detect potential intrusions, and maintain security. Small business owners, at a minimum, should do the following:
- Be more diligent in checking for unusual activities or performance issues on your devices and networks. This should include website traffic monitoring.
- Incorporate regular backups, if not already in place, and test a recent backup to ensure it works.
- Check anti-virus and all software (including any website plugins) for updates and patches.
- Incorporate a firewall or security monitoring software in your website and online stores.
- Use a password manager with complex passphrases (16+ characters with random numbers, letters, and symbols).
- Use multifactor authentication
- Turn on or incorporate virtual private networks (VPNs) when online.
- Familiarize yourself with your website/online store providers’ data breach policy to understand reporting procedures and liability guidelines if a breach occurs or your site becomes infected.
Following these steps can drastically reduce your cybersecurity threats and improve your resilience if faced with a destructive cyber incident. For more details or resources to assist with preparations, please contact your local SBDC offices and use the links below:
- CISA Shields-Up Notice and Guidelines: https://www.cisa.gov/shields-up
- Find a Local SBDC Office: https://americassbdc.org/find-your-sbdc/
- ASBDC Basic Cyber Awareness Resources for Small Business: