Your company may be at risk and you may not even know it. Nowadays larger companies have the resources to invest into protecting their websites and data from hacking. Cyber criminals know this and are now turning their attention to smaller more unsuspecting companies. Here are a few ways that you can help protect you and your company.

  1. Be Aware

The first step toward fighting any kind of crime is awareness. Recognize that your company’s data may be at risk and formulate a plan to help protect it. Learn as much as you can about the internal and external vulnerabilities your business could face. The more you know the better you can prepare in the case of a hack.

  1. Know The Different Kinds of Attacks

You can’t protect yourself against an attack you don’t know anything about. Read up on the different ways that your systems could be hijacked – phishing, malware, key logging, hacking, ransomware and identity theft.

Phishing- This is where a hacker attempts to gain personal information through emails or fraudulent sites designed to fool visitors into typing in their information.

Malware- Also known as malicious software, are viruses, spyware and trojans that are designed to steal information and damage your computer.

Key logging- Software that tracks every keystroke in order to learn about passwords and other sensitive information.

Hacking- When a hacker gains access to your email account or computer system through deciphering the password.

Ransomware- Hackers lock the business out of all of their files on their business computer and demand a ransom to regain access.

Identity theft- When hackers use personal information like date of birth and social security number and pretend to be you online.

  1. Encrypt Your Data

Data encryption is when plain text is translated into a secret code of sorts and the only way to read it is with a “key.” This doesn’t necessarily guard against all attacks because many people will generally have a “key” or rather the password. All it will take for a hacker to gain access is for an employee to leave a computer unlocked while they step away from their desk.

  1. Physical Security

All the encryption in the world is useless against a physically stolen computer. This is often overlooked as a weakness for an office but it is one of the more common ones for smaller businesses. If someone steals your equipment they have access, or eventually will, to everything on it. Make sure that you not protect the data on the computer but the computer itself and keep everything under lock and key.

  1. Make Security a Number One Priority For Everyone

Of course, none of this does any good if you are the only one aware of the risks. Make sure to inform all your employees and clients about the risks and protocol should anything happen. Having a plan and informing everyone of said plan is one way to prevent a bad situation from getting any worse.


On Wednesday, June 14, SCORE is offering a timely workshop to help small businesses address vulnerability to the risk of cyber crime. Ken Weinstock, a SCORE client, will identify and explain technologies, processes and best practices that will help you  protect your business from cyber criminals and poor security practices. Ken has held positions with Symantec and IBM, as well as other technology service and product providers. He has a deep understanding of the tools, technology and trends in the Cybersecurity space. He holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Time: 9:00 to 10:30 am


The Austin American Statesman

305 South Congress Avenue

Austin, TX 78704

Parking lot is behind the building

Link for Registration:

Cybersecurity and the risks to your business