Cybersecurity Guide offers free guidance to small businesses

Cybersecurity Guide offers free guidance to small businesses

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Cybersecurity is a top concern for all businesses, big and small. According to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, the United States has experienced more than 4,600 known data breaches since 2005, compromising nearly a billion records. And the problem is only getting worse.

That's why attorneys general from several states have been working to gather resources to help small businesses protect their customers, and themselves.

"Any entity, whether big or small, can be the victim of a cybercrime," Attorney General Hood said. "It has become second nature for most of us to lock our front doors when we leave the house. Companies and agencies must take basic precautions to lock their computer systems and electronic data from cyber thieves. It is very important to train employees and not just assume they know computer security basics."

Thursday, Hood's office released a Cybersecurity Guide that updates existing resources to address growing trends and responses in a single guide. The Guide, which was developed with input from some of his fellow attorneys general, builds upon cybersecurity materials from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), California, Illinois, and other sources.

The Guide was designed especially to help small businesses, but it may also be helpful to larger companies and government agencies as well.  It includes a list of suggested standards, a list of what not to do, and an appendix of important FTC cases which provide further guidance.

Additionally, the Guide provides:

  • An overview of cybersecurity threats facing small businesses
  • A summary of several practices that help manage risks posed by these threats
  • A response plan in the event of a cyber incident.

Standards include the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cyber Framework which the Department of Commerce created in collaboration with industry and in response to a 2013 Presidential Executive Order.

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