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Maximum Security

The business world's relationship with technology is complicated. It has revolutionized how we communicate and process information. But it also requires significant investments that can open a business to enormous risk.

U.S. chief executives are more concerned about cyber threats than financial risks, including fiscal crises, asset bubbles and energy prices, according to a World Economic Forum Global Risk Report. The risks associated with cybercrime go beyond the obvious financial implications as the reputational damage tied to a breach may be insurmountable, especially for smaller businesses.

Consider these three tips to protect your business against cyber threats.

Know your risks.

To protect your business and your clients, you need a thorough knowledge of your systems and where they could be compromised.

A pole with security cameras at the top.

A third-party vendor can help you conduct a vulnerability assessment and identify security weaknesses and take proactive steps to minimize the potential for a catastrophic breach. It's best to evaluate your systems annually at a minimum and more frequently for critical systems.

Train your team.

An uninformed team may be your greatest business risk. Well-meaning employees may open your firm to significant loss simply by trying to do the right thing. Implement cybersecurity training so your employees know how to correctly recognize and respond to potential threats.

Establish a plan.

Establish an incident response plan for managing a breach before it happens. Include how and when you will communicate to employees, clients and law enforcement, as well as how you will respond to questions from the media. Note steps to protect evidence that may support forensic investigation. Acting quickly, decisively and transparently will demonstrate confidence and minimize financial and reputational damage.

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