The days of installing an anti-virus program on your computer and forgetting about computer security are gone. Although we think that cybersecurity is a problem for large businesses, such as Target and Equifax, the reality is that a small business’s data vulnerability actually caused the Target breach. Data breaches are also caused by all-sized businesses because employees are not trained to detect common security scams. Small businesses are also being directly targeted by cyber-thieves because their information is easy to get and can lead to “larger fish in the sea.”

Today, you need to understand the threats, train your employees and be prepared to respond if your computer data is breached. Here are guidelines you can use:

How Does This Affect Me?

  • Recognize that you are at war and they are targeting YOU
  • Practice good Password Management
  • Trust but Verify
  • Download and Install Software Updates
  • Beware of Social Media

Top 5 Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses (4-minute video from Intel and McAfee)

Cyber insurance is available for businesses. Please talk to your insurance broker about the benefits, limitations and costs.

Encrypt your computer:

  • Microsoft offers BitLock for free, but it is only available on Windows Professional. Windows Home can be upgraded for a fee (about $100).
    Veracrypt is a free service for Windows computers.
    Apple has FileVault.
  • The major downside to encrypting your computer is that if you lose the password or your computer becomes corrupt, there is virtually no way to restore it.
  • Secure your hardware so it’s harder to steal
  • Install anti-virus/anti-malware protection.
  • Consider the importance of computer security in the same way you think of legal and accounting protection: consult an expert. Data breaches cost an average $45,000 and can destroy your relationships with your customers and vendors.

Educate your employees:

Cybersecurity for Small Business (30-min video from the SBA)

Cyber Security Planning Guide from the FTC (51 pages)

Here are three videos designed to train your employees about ways they can prevent a data breach.

5 Cybersecurity Posters for your Employees

Employee Handbook: Sample Cyber Security Policy

Security Awareness and Training (29-minutes)


Data Breach Response – a Guide for Business

For more information or help with cyber security for your business, contact the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County. Conveniently located in Camarillo, California, we’re here to help.


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