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Cyber attacks—it takes all but five minutes to wake up in the morning and see, read or hear something about one of them taking place and completely devastating the structure of an up-and-coming business.

Usually, these reports do their best to to simplify the complex nature of what’s taken place, but end up falling flat on their proverbial faces—you’ve consumed this kind of media, and know exactly what I’m talking about.

And while bystander ignorance isn’t all that big of a deal, when your business—be it a startup, SMB or full-blown, money-making machine—is at the heart of a harmful hack or data breach, you quickly need to make sense of what’s taken place.

It’s hard work, but with millions of cyber attacks happening each and every day, it’s not a matter of if your business will be a target, but when. Forgive the sports-minded cliché, but “the best offense is a good defense.”

Technology is constantly changing, and with it, so are the multitude of ways in which the dregs of the World Wide Web can gain access to your business’ most important information.

You’re not a programmer, developer or hacker (fingers crossed), but if you run your own business, it’s key that you implement a few evergreen strategies for steering clear of vicious cyber attacks.

Intrigued? You’re in luck—the following are four of the best:

1) Keep Up-to-Date With Fraudulent Trends

You might not be the most tech-savvy person within your business’ internal structure, but odds are high that there’s somebody who feels comfortable talking about the below cyber schemes:

      • Spoofing and Phishing Scams
      • Social Engineering
      • Systems Hacking
      • Pharming
      • Malware

If this isn’t you, identify the right person for the job, and request that they keep up-to-date with what’s taking place. The risks of cyber attacks are characteristically adaptive, accounting for the forward-thinking nature of technology.

As such, you need someone to alert you of danger when it’s near.

2) Make Use of an Effective Anti-Virus Software

You’re a businessperson. Because of this, there’s not an hour that passes when you’re not using your phone or computer to bring about success.

If you’re like most busy people, frequent use means that you’re routinely blowing off the notifications your personal electronic devices push, telling you that it’s time for an update or two.

Updating your Candy Crush app is one thing; updating your anti-virus software is another.

Hands down, this is the simplest, most effective way for you to prevent cyber attacks. Even better, an update only takes a couple of clicks to produce more than mere peace of mind.

Seriously, keeping your anti-virus software current can accomplish a great deal of good:

      • Performance problems are quickly identified, minimizing future problems in the process.
      • Should a virus be contracted, anti-virus software can prevent it from spreading.
      • Business processes and procedures are allowed to continue unhindered.
      • Private information remains the way it was meant to be—confidential.

3) Have an Emergency-Response Plan In Place

Do you remember being back in elementary school, and having the occasional fire drill interrupt class? Back then, it was usually considered a godsend of sorts—you got out of class for a few minutes, and could freely socialize with close friends.

Similarly, having an emergency-response plan in place is vital when a cybercrime occurs.

No, by way of having one, you and your staff won’t be able to blow of your everyday responsibilities for five to ten minutes. But should an attack occur, it will keep your recovery process greatly streamlined. In moments like these, the last thing you need is confusion.

Be prepared; minimize damage. It’s as simple as that.

4) Don’t Be Afraid to Pick Up the Phone

Nestled comfortably in our digital day and age, far too many people prefer sending typed messages through email over picking up the phone and speaking to another human being.

Usually, this isn’t a big deal; however, when financial matters are being discussed, an old-fashioned phone call will almost always be your best bet.

From trusted banks and vendors to loyal clients and employees, when financial requests or confirmations are being made, pick up the phone—it’s safer. Also, consider implementing a two-step verification process to solidify the security of any outgoing funds.

Conclusion

Cybercrime isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it will only become worse as time goes on.

Seeing as how you’ve put an incredible amount of time, money and energy into growing your business, take a few moments to put each of the above security measures into practice. With a heightened sense of comfort, your security efforts will be well worth the trouble.