If you’re a small business owner operating in today’s cyber world, then you probably already know how important it is for you to keep your business systems protected at all times. Many people don’t realize just how much information their company stores online, on servers and in storage devices, can be stolen by unscrupulous sources. In fact, the cyber crime of choice isn’t usually a fraud or identity theft but rather malware – malicious software designed to harm or steal information from computers.

Stealing information from companies, both private and public, is no laughing matter. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes of this century and the threat is only becoming more acute. Just imagine what someone with malicious intent can do with a list of customer credit card numbers, personal information, bank account numbers and other financial data. Stolen and misused data can lead to all kinds of problems for a business – legal issues, lost revenue and even employee lawsuits. To avoid these kinds of problems, business owners need to focus on protecting their businesses against hackers and malware.

One way you can protect your business systems from hackers and malware is to implement strong business Continuity Plan (CSP) and business continuity planning (BCP). A CSP is an information package that provides a general overview of security procedures for your business. A BCP keeps things in-house, so that employees, customers and suppliers are aware of what to do in the case of a security breach. Both of these security procedures are very important if you want to stay ahead of cyber criminals and others who may want to use your information for their own gain. A strong CSP/BCP in place will also protect your company from damage or even loss as a result of a security breach.

Another way to secure your business network is by following any and all recommendations made by security experts. For instance, an organization that is experiencing a major onslaught of cyber attacks needs to take more aggressive action to stop the intruders. Experts will recommend that your business create a security posture that specifically addresses the attack tactics used to gain access to your networks. For instance, if a cyber attacker obtains data from your system that is then sent to him through an infected email attachment, he will not only be able to get access to your data, but will also know the exact ways your business uses your systems and what networks they are vulnerable to.

There is also another step you can take to secure your business systems and information. It is also recommended that you work with industry experts who can help you secure your networks. In fact, the goal of most cyber attacks is to access business systems so that they can upload viruses or other harmful programs that can actually shut down systems or even steal information. Work with qualified professionals who can help you set up a plan to strengthen your business information so it is the least protected against threats.

Even if you use the latest technology to protect your business information, you must follow the basic guidelines for securing your systems and information. For instance, you need to change all passwords to prevent hackers from gaining access to them. Also, make sure you update your virus protection software regularly and work with industry experts to strengthen your business cyber security posture so that your company’s information is as safe as possible.

Even if you use email servers to communicate internally, you still need to consider using other means to transmit sensitive information outside of your company. In particular, you should not send emails from your company computer to another user on the Internet unless you trust that person. Be especially cautious about Internet scams that may offer you free software to distribute to others. Only open emails from accredited sources that are trustworthy and secure.

Remember that cyber security is a serious issue for businesses of all sizes. To help protect your business information, work with professionals who can guide you in securing it. By following good advice, you can help minimize the risks that cyber security poses to your company.