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Cybersecurity Is No Longer An Option. Your Money Is in Immediate Danger.

Protect your company's assets before it's too late.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

On any given news day, you can find a headline detailing the latest cybersecurity attack on a big business. But should mom-and-pop shops take this threat as seriously as Wall Street bigwigs? The answer is an inarguable “yes.” 

Hackers aren’t just focusing on major corporations anymore. If your personal email has ever been compromised, you've seen this firsthand. Online antagonists now bulls-eye bottom-shelf businesses because they know said targets don’t protect themselves enough. These criminals realize it’s harder for start-ups to bounce back from an attack and use that fear to squeeze money out of them.

Be proactive in the present, so as to stop bad guys in the future.

Related: Cybersecurity Practices That Protect Your Small Business

1. Control your domain name

Most third-party providers that let you set up a website on your own (e.g., GoDaddy), have options you can select that make it harder for hackers to steal your data. You have to pay for the added protection, but the fees are reasonable and cost far less than the alternative. The providers usually have better cybersecurity resources than you would have on your own.

2. Use company email

If you allow employees to use personal email for work, it’s almost impossible to track what they’re doing and therefore safer to have everybody use a company address, (such as "WorkerName@YourBusiness.com). If anything happens, you can quickly lock down the account. You can also use other configurations and tools to encrypt messages, know if messages are sent, etc.

3. Use affiliated passwords and/or fingerprint IDs

If you have more than one workstation for your business, employees shouldn’t be able to pop from one machine to another without logging in with their own credentials and need to lock automatically if not in use for a set number of minutes. Otherwise an underling could simply use the last visitor’s credentials to change information. Affiliated passwords ensure that employees view only what they’re authorized to be viewing.

The very same digits we use to type can also be used in place, or on top of, passwords you assign your team. Built-in fingerprint recognition technologies are becoming more standard in devices like tablets, laptops and phones, so you’re not necessarily going to have to buy anything else to deploy this extra measure. 

4. Hire someone from outside

IT security companies can do things like set up a firewall for your server, install virus blockers and block spam. If your web host doesn’t provide those services, it can be worth it to buy them from specialists and write it off as a maintenance expense.

Unless you’re super savvy, having an outside company handle your networking and privacy at a basic level can significantly reduce your security blind spots. Having them come in and critique your setup is an easy way to get peace of mind about your situation without having to spend your energy keeping everything working. Because you’re probably already putting all you’ve got into growing your company, being able to delegate some of the technicals can make a huge difference.

Related: A Business Leader's Beginner Guide to Cybersecurity

 

Dr. Steven Ghim

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Dr. Steven Ghim is a cosmetic dentist who also provides general and comprehensive dental care. Ghim has over 20 years of clinical experience and his private practice office is fully digital, ultra-modern, and serves the adult patient. He also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force.