Need a Cybersecurity Refresher? Check Out SBA's New Online Course

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on November 05, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Whether your client is a rinky-dink startup or a blossoming corporate giant, all in-house counsel realize the critical need for clients (and their attorneys) to understand the nuts and bolts of cybersecurity.

For those in need of a refresher or crash course on the topic, the Small Business Administration is offering a new online cybersecurity course that is geared to small business. The course, Cybersecurity for Small Businesses, provides a nutshell primer on how to secure business information, identify security threats and guard against cyber-attacks.

Here's a breakdown of the SBA course's topics paired with FindLaw's own tips:

  1. The definition of cybersecurity. For the Luddite attorneys and business owners out there, "cybersecurity" encompasses information security as applied to networks and computers. It refers to the means by which your computers, data, networks, and services are protected from various cyber attacks, including unintended or unauthorized access, change or destruction.
  2. The importance of cybersecurity. With data breaches becoming a common affair, more than half of all in house counsel cite data security as their top concern, according to Inside Counsel. And for good reason: The average cost of one small business cyber attack is nearly $9,000, according to the National Small Business Association (NSBA).
  3. Types of information to secure. Your cybersecurity strategy should aim to protect your cloud storage, email, wireless network, social media accounts, mobile devices and computers. Seek tools that will help protect against malware looking for credit card numbers, social media passwords, Excel files, QuickBooks files, proprietary information, confidential client information, and other sensitive data.
  4. Types of cyber threats. The term "cyber attack" refers to any number of ways a criminal may attempt to damage or access sensitive information from a computer or networked device. Attacks may come in a variety of forms, including: viruses, spyware, phishing, pharming, worms, keyloggers, bots and Trojans.
  5. Guarding against cyber threats. For starters, make sure your company has in place anti-virus and anti-spyware software, spam filters, secure Wi Fi connections, and strong passwords that are changed frequently. In-house counsel should implement cybersecurity "best practices" policies, require employee training on appropriate computer use, and become very very close with the IT department. Also, consider auditing the security practices of your cybersecurity firm, legal department and outside counsel.

Sure, you may have just missed National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but it's not too late get up to speed. Have any particular questions or comments on the matter? Join the discussion on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

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