Cyber Security: Build a good defense

Q. Am I at risk for a data breach?
Monday, May 23, 2016

A. The best defense is a good offense is a common saying in the Marine Corps and should be in cyber security. Most small businesses think they are too small to be attacked but, in the enemy’s eyes, you are a soft target. In 2014, 60% of all online attacks targeted small and mid-sized businesses. With most small businesses lacking resources and one in four small business owners having little to no understanding of security threats, you are the prime target. 

Throughout this four-part series, we will provide valuable lessons in cyber security relative to business owners, employees, patients/customers, and future threats. Today, we’ll discuss how the business owner sets up his defense to proactively address potential security threats. Here are four tips to start preparing your defense today:

• Conduct a security audit: There are businesses and free resources online that will ask you the tough questions, allowing you to identify the systems and information most critical to your operations.

• Make those updates: Update operating systems, patches, browsers and security software. They actively protect against new malware and viruses.

• Get firewall protection: All Internet connections used to access your private network must be protected by an updated firewall. 

• Ensure encryption: Protect all information submitted by using encryption through SSL. This basically makes all data stored on your website unreadable to individuals without proper access.

These four actions will make you a harder target and give you a plan for the future, but you will have to remain vigilant; defense is about discipline. Are you doing the right things when nobody is

Rob Duryea is president of VGM Forbin. Reach him at