Fight Back Against Cyber Threats

Help secure your electronic and mobile devices — and protect your bottom line!

The Internet and mobile technologies have become indispensable for many small businesses. Yet without proper safeguards, they can put your data, your systems, and even your company at risk.

Cyber criminals are increasing their attacks on smaller firms simply because they know many don’t have the resources to stop them:

  • One in five cyber attacks affects businesses with 250 or fewer employees.1
  • Nearly 60 percent of small businesses that are attacked close their doors within six months.

Piecemeal approach

Some companies often take a piecemeal approach to security, protecting a few of their assets while leaving others vulnerable. For example, 82 percent of small businesses have secured their company laptops, but only 32 percent have secured their smartphones, according to a 2012 survey by AT&T and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

At a time when electronic devices are expanding business boundaries, you need an approach that encompasses both traditional wired and wireless systems. Doing this can help you:

  • Identify and remove viruses and malware from your computers.
  • Back up your data automatically and continuously.
  • Protect sensitive data on your mobile devices.
  • Detect and deter network threats.
  • Prevent cyber attacks from disabling your network.

Services are available that can help protect your business from these cyber threats and more. These five tips can help you keep your computers and mobile devices safe:

1. Protect computers from malware

Even the most careful Internet users can be tricked into downloading computer viruses and spyware. These programs can attach themselves to legitimate software that users download online or may hide within innocent looking pop-up Internet ads for virus or spyware protection. In a best-case scenario, they may simply slow down your computer. In the worst, they can erase files, steal passwords, and give cyber criminals access to sensitive information.

Look for a system that can help you:

  • Install operating system updates and configure wireless network security
  • Identify and remove viruses and spyware
  • Provide 24/7 remote technical support over an Internet connection

2. Improve data backup

Many small business owners acknowledge that data is among their most valuable assets. Yet few have done anything to safeguard their files and ensure they are accessible in the event of a hardware crash, fire, or other manmade or natural disasters. Less than one-third of small businesses use the Internet or a computer network to back up their data to a remote location, according to the 2012 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll.

Look for a system that can help you:

  • Automatically and continuously back up your data to a remote storage cloud.
  • Gain unlimited data storage.
  • Access files from web-connected devices.
  • Improve productivity with features such as universal search for files and folders.

3. Help secure data on mobile devices

Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are helping businesses be more flexible and productive. Yet using them to access company email and sensitive files can put your company at risk. Lost or stolen mobile devices are among the most common causes of data breaches in small businesses, according to a 2013 study by the Ponemon Institute.4 These breaches can be costly, and they can damage your trusted brand.

Look for a system that can help you:

  • Monitor devices connecting to your company network, whether company-issued or employee-owned.
  • Protect sensitive data on missing devices through lock and wipe capabilities.
  • Support device usage policies.
  • Allow for remote deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting of business applications.

4. Keep your website up and running

For some small businesses, a website outage of a day or two would mean lost sales and revenue that could never be recovered. Some of today’s most dangerous cyber threats present this risk. In these distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, hackers can shut down websites by flooding them with requests from virus-infected computers. Growing in frequency, these attacks can cripple small businesses that lack the resources to stop them.

Look for a system that can help you:

  • Examine Internet traffic for viruses, worms, and other threats.
  • Alert you to threats targeting your network through email, text message, or Web-based user portal.
  • Deter DDoS attacks by rerouting harmful traffic and allowing legitimate traffic to pass through.
  • Inform you of new security patches for your systems.

5. Help block network threats

Firewall protection is critical for helping businesses keep out potentially dangerous Web traffic and allowing valid traffic to pass through. Yet configuring and maintaining hardware and software firewalls can be a challenge for smaller companies that lack an IT staff. A network-based firewall service can be an easier option to implement and more effective at protecting your business. With this type of system, the firewall resides in the service provider’s network, freeing you from buying and maintaining hardware or software.

Look for a system that can help you:

  • Block harmful traffic, such as links to phishing websites.
  • Help prevent sensitive data from leaving your network.
  • Support company security policies, such as blocking access to specified websites.
  • Eliminate the need to buy, configure, and maintain firewalls onsite.