Cybersecurity continues to be an important topic for Florida businesses of all sizes. According to the 2018 Internet Crime Report, Florida ranked third highest for complaints received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The state came in fourth in terms of money lost — $178,141,470. These numbers include complaints filed by individuals, as well as businesses, with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Of the incidents reported to IC3, 20,373 had to do with compromised business or personal email.
Nationwide, compromised business and personal email resulted in losses of $1,297,803,489. That’s a lot of money. A report by the Better Business Bureau said the average small business’s loss due to a cybercrime incident is $80,000. Moreover, the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance shows 60% of small businesses that experience a cyberattack close within six months as a result. As e-commerce and digital platforms continue to grow, it’s important to take care of your company’s cyberpresence.
Here are some of the steps business owners can take to protect their investment:
1. Password protection Requiring your employees to create strong passwords for email, software platforms and browsers is one way to help reduce your digital vulnerability to a cyberattack. Two-factor authentication, where a user needs to enter a code sent via text or email to confirm a login, is also a smart thing to add to your digital protections.
2. Cloud-based software. Saving files and programs to a cloud computing solution (like Amazon, Google, etc.) strengthens your backups, reduces your risk of a local server hack and helps you access more storage when you need it. It can also enable employees to work remotely when needed.
3. Use Secure Wi-Fi and internet. Requiring a password to access your business’s internet reduces your risk of a hacker taking advantage of an open network to access your data. If you offer Wi-Fi to your customers, set it up as a separate network and offer a guest password to limit access to just paying customers. You can also use a virtual private network (VPN) program to gate your Wi-Fi, both in your office and when you’re using your devices on the go.
4. Create, and enforce, a company cybersecurity plan. The tips listed above should be part of your broader business-specific cybersecurity plan. Once you’ve completed the plan, share it with employees and make sure they know why following it is important.
5. Stay alert and informed. Monitor developments in cybersecurity and infrastructure security. Keeping abreast of issues can help you keep your company safer from cybercrime.
Florida may be high on the list for reports of cybercrime, but it’s also ranked highly for cyber-education. Here are some resources to help you keep up to date on cybersecurity breakthroughs.
Cybercriminals are here to stay, but with smart thinking and a plan, you can help safeguard your business. Seacoast is here to help with solutions for payroll, banking and more. Complete the form below to speak with a banker.