Security Strategy, Plan, Budget

FTC launches cybersecurity site for small businesses

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a new website where small businesses can receive tips and advice on cybersecurity issues.

The site, FTC Small Business, is geared toward helping the 28 million small businesses in the country, employing some 57 million people, become better prepared for dealing with scams and securing their computer networks.

“Small businesses are critical to our economic strength, building America's future, and helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace,” Acting Chairman Ohlhausen said, adding “This innovative new website is a one-stop shop where small businesses can find information to protect themselves from scammers and hackers, as well as resources they can use if they are hit with a cyberattack.”

While hackers gain greater fame by taking down huge corporations like Sony, Target and Anthem, the number of small business and organizations being victimized is growing. Cybercriminals are even using techniques like spearphishing, which they normally reserved for major targets, to go after smaller enterprises. The FTC cited a 2016 Symantec report the number of spearphishing attacks against SMS jumped to 43 percent, up from 18 percent the year before.

“Scammers frequently target small businesses with deceptive tactics designed to get them to pay for supplies they didn't order, donate to fake charities or trick them into giving access to their network or downloading malware that can corrupt their business's computers,” the FTC wrote.

The tips provided are basic, but for anyone unfamiliar with the ins and outs of cybersecurity could prove invaluable. Simple tasks like keeping software up to date, backing up files, using strong passwords and implementing two-factor authentication are discussed.

The videos cover a variety of topics, including recommending to app developers, that they bake security into the software from development phase to how a business should react when it discovers a data breach.

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