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Cyber Security: 5 Steps Your Iowa Small Business Needs to Take

First Things, First. What Is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the combination of steps a business or individual takes in order
to protect themselves and important data from attack or unauthorized access.
Those steps can include many different action items, but we’ll guide you through
our top cyber security tips for small businesses below.

Protect Your Business With These Steps

1. Identify your key technologies and data
Know which software is used to keep track of your important data, and find
out what device that software is stored on. You may even want to write down
the detailed information of your hardware and software, such as the serial
number and support information, in case of emergency.

Another aspect business owners can fail to protect is their inventory list.
Ideally, inventory should be rechecked monthly and each time it’s checked, a
copy should be stored in multiple places.

2. Protect that data by implementing safety measures
There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk for a cyber attack.
Those steps include backing up your files, using unique passwords, keeping
your software updated, and making sure all devices are password-protected.

3. Detect threats or compromised data
Pay attention to security-related alerts, and then train employees to catch and
report them to the proper personnel. You can dig into security threats deeper
by monitoring network traffic for unusual patters, analyzing disk health for
potential storage issues, and identifying when messages have been blocked
by email filters.

4. Respond quickly to the attack
Create a response strategy so your business can continue running smoothly,
even in the midst of an attack. This is when you’ll call upon the back-up
information you’ve gathered, and when you’ll contact your appointed incident
response specialist and legal professionals.

5. Recover by reevaluating your computer security technologies
Consider implementing a more detailed disaster recovery plan than you
previously had in place. Also, find out if you need to notify your customers as
well as additional parties of the data breach. The state or federal government
dictates data breach notification requirements, so look to them for additional
guidance.

How much do you actually know about IT security? Find out right now! Just go to
iowacyber.com and take the FREE cyber security Q&A course. And while you’re
there, check out their additional training opportunities.

Additional resources
Iowa Small Business Development Center - Cyber Security 
National Cyber Security Alliance - Stay Safe Online