U.S. Small Business Administration shares tips to protect from Cyber Attacks

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Although cyberattacks in the U.S. have targeted large corporations, small businesses are not immune.

Cyberattacks on businesses are intended to disable or steal data and gain access to a computer system or network, according to Burton.

”According to an SBA survey, 88% of small business owners felt their business may be vulnerable to a cyber-attack,” said Angela Burton, U.S. Small Business Administration Lower Rio Grande Valley District director.

There are currently no reports of local cyberattacks, but Burton said that does not mean they are not happening.

Burton said she understands that many businesses cannot afford IT services or cybersecurity, but the SBA has some resources and tips available to small businesses.

Tips to protect from cyberattacks:

  • Understand your risk of an attack and identify areas to improve
  • Train Employees on internet best practices
  • Learn to spot phishing emails
  • Avoid suspicious downloads
  • Create strong passwords
  • Secure payment processing
  • Use and update antivirus software
  • Use firewalls
  • Secure open Wi-Fi networks
  • Protect and backup data

The SBA works together with resource partners such as UTRGV Small Business Development Center as well as SCORE Rio Grande Valley that provide cybersecurity webinars.

Self-paced pieces of training are available on the SBA’s website to all small businesses at no cost.

“This is just one very important issue and it seems to be getting more prevalent and more folks are out there trying to attack your systems,” said Burton.

For additional resources on protecting small businesses visit the SBA website here or call (956) 427-8533.