Many small business owners believe cyber security practices and vulnerabilities only apply to big businesses with millions in revenue. However, more and more small businesses are learning the hard way that things like ransomware, password theft, social media hijacking, and cloud storage invasion can cost thousands of dollars and even close doors. Working with cyber security experts, MEDC, and U.S. Small Business Administration, the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) has introduced Small Business, Big Threat (SBBT), an easy and informative assessment made specifically to protect small business owners from these risks. Anyone can take the assessment online and local governments and groups have expanded on the assessment with seminars, classes, and panel discussions to provide further instruction.
“Hacking and computer penetrations can strike at the heart of small business, and can even put some small businesses out of business,” the smallbusinessbigthreat.com informs. The assessment tests the business owners’ cyber knowledge through a series of scenarios and provides detailed insight into each situation. Participants can see how an event like password theft affects small business owners of different types, such as a coffee shop owner with a small shop and limited number of employees or the owner of a manufacturing business with more assets and more employees. The assessment also provides insight from a “black hat hacker,” a computer expert who uses cyber vulnerabilities for personal or financial gain, so business owners can see exactly how they could be exploited.
With 27 scenarios divided by topic, such as password protection, mobile security, and social media, SBBT provides important insight for new computer users and seasoned experts alike. For those that are unfamiliar with or intimidated by the demands of cyber security, SBBT is the perfect place to start. Savvy computer users may also find their knowledge tested by the latest events in cyber security. Use the following sample questions from the learning course and assessment to test your knowledge.
“If your business has its own internet-connected network, which key parts of your network help to keep you safe from hackers?”
“If you have social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, what is the best way to protect your accounts from being hacked?”
“Is there a risk to using “free” public Wi-Fi (wireless) Internet access that does not require any passwords to connect?”
SBBT provides more information on each question and insight into the correct answers, showing how different business owners have used the information to protect themselves or how a lack of preparation has cost them. Take the assessment and learning course online at smallbusinessbigthreat.com and visit the site to find where local seminars are held.
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