Protecting proprietary information through cybersecurity


New Jersey business owners need to be armed with the right tools to protect their companies. With Internet fraud becoming more common, businesses need to have a cybersecurity plan in action in order to protect proprietary information.

Small companies - those with fewer than 250 employees - face the highest risk of security issues. This is because they are often relatively new and lack the experience to protect themselves. Fortunately, there are some easy ways that companies can decrease their vulnerability.

Antivirus software is one of the most important ways a company can protect itself. Without it, computers are vulnerable to viruses, such as malware, spyware and dangerous emails. It is important to teach employees how to handle emails from suspicious senders. They should never open the email or any attachments. It should be deleted immediately without replying to it or forwarding it.

Other security measures, such as passwords and administrative rights, can also help keep confidential data safe. Only trusted staff, such as VPs, CEOs, IT staff and some managers, should have access to this information.

Another thing companies should look into is a firewall. A firewall protects Internet traffic. Criminals can't tap into the company's network, while employees can't send proprietary information outside the company. It's a win-win situation.

Employees may not see anything wrong with using the company Internet or email account for personal use. However, it can lead to many workplace violations, such as sexual harassment, disclosure of trade secrets, copyright infringement, defamation and violation of securities laws. All of these can put an up-and-coming company in serious trouble.

Source: Terra, " 10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Cybersecurity Plan for Your Business," Kim Lachance Shandrow, April 26, 2013