California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris released a Cybersecurity Guide with data security recommendations targeted for small and mid-sized businesses. Harris stated, “I recognize that for many of us, computer technology and cybersecurity are complicated. But there are specific and straightforward steps that all small businesses can and should take to reduce their risk, as well as effective measures businesses can take to respond to cyberincidents should they take place.” The Guide stresses that small business owners should assume they are a target for cybercrime and take action to protect their data. The Guide recommends specific actionable steps to prevent cyber-attacks, including reviewing data stored with third parties such cloud providers, mapping and encrypting data, and following safe online practices such as regularly updating firewall and antivirus software and using strong passwords. The Guide also encourages business to plan for the worst and develop a game plan so that when a cyberincident does happen, the company can respond quickly and effectively.

TIP: Many argue that cyber-security incidents are inevitable – it’s not if, but when. This guide provides helpful information for not only small companies, but any entity that might not have been thinking about the issue.