Every 39 seconds, a hacker makes an attack on a computer system. Cyber attacks hurt one in three Americans per year. Three industries experience 95% of all data breaches: retail, government, and technology. More than 40% of data breaches target the information stored by small businesses, with two-thirds of small businesses suffering from phishing intrusions and nearly half of small businesses experiencing denial of service attacks.
Houston, we have a problem. But small businesses do not need NASA to devise a complicated strategy to thwart cyber attacks. Small business owners have affordable and efficient ways to implement security technology.
Does your small business use the same passwords to access important financial and management accounts that you used five years ago? IT security experts recommend changing secure passwords every six months, and this should be an especially high priority for small businesses. This easy to implement security technology tip does not require an MIT degree and it costs you nothing more than a few seconds of your time. Moreover, be sure to create different passwords for different accounts. Update IT security software such as firewalls and other software programs that discourage the bad guys from attempting to hack customer and small business data. Use a password maintenance program such as Dashlane or Roboform, which in most cases offer free downloadable versions.
Two Factor Authentication
Simply coming up with several different passwords to protect varied business accounts is not enough to prevent cyber attacks. You should also use two factor authentication, which also goes by the acronym 2FA. Two factor authentication not only requires a secure password, it also adds a layer of protection requesting an answer to a question that only the user knows or something the user has, it could be your fingerprint or a code sent to your mobile phone. In some cases, it could also be answering a question that “hopefully” only you would know.
Retail businesses, such as restaurants and electronic stores, are particularly vulnerable to data breaches. Millions of credit card transactions take place every day in the United States, and each transaction is an opportunity for identity thieves to strike. In addition to two factor authentication business owners operating in the retail sector should also create passwords that are difficult to decipher. We have all come across websites that require users to include a least one capital letter, one number, and one symbol as part of a password. Implement the same easy, yet effective data security strategy for your small retail business.
40% of data breaches target the information stored by small businesses. Here are some simple, cost free ways to protect your business.
More than Technology
All the cybersecurity measures you implement for your business mean nothing, unless you supplement the digital security measures with old-school electronic security systems. When thieves case a small business, they look a video surveillance system. Highly effective video surveillance systems cover every inch of your small business property, as well as a clearly defined area outside your property where criminals lurk. Your video surveillance system should include a feature that allows you to activate and control every camera from a home personal computer. You should also install a lighting system surrounding the retail business to discourage thieves.
Common Sense Personal Security
Small business owners often make cash drops after the end of each business day. Savvy operators wait until morning by securing cash inside tough to compromise safes. Nighttime cash drops should be avoided and if you run a small business that generates most of its sales in cash, consider hiring a security service like Brinks to pick up cash deposits. Pay attention to your surroundings at all time, which means keeping your head up and not buried in a Smartphone or between a set of headphones.
Securing your business does not have to be difficult. With some simple, common sense best practices, like properly training your employees, and being aware of your surroundings, make it just a bit harder for thieves and hackers, and give you a huge boost towards a more secure business.
Ready to take protecting your business to the next level? Read about the top security threats for SMBs and how to protect your business, and explore the 7 security features you should look for in your next printer.
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