Just because you run a small business, doesn’t mean you’re beyond a hacker’s notice – or reach. Unfortunately, small businesses are particularly susceptible to hacks and breaches, simply because they are small and often unprepared. Here are a few ways that you can protect your business from a cyber attack:
Understand what’s sensitive data and what’s not.
Credit card information is often the target of cyber attacks, but you may have other information that’s just as valuable, depending on your business.
Educate your employees.
The more your employees know about cyber attacks and how to protect your data, the better off you’ll be. It may be as simple as reminding them not to open attachments from people they don’t know or expect, posting procedures for encrypting personal or sensitive information so they don’t forget, or requiring them to change their passwords regularly.
Make sure you’ve got the right partners and platforms.
Do you have a WAF (web application firewall) in place, to protect your site? Is your ecommerce platform PCI-DSS (payment card industry data security standards) Level 1 compliant? That will protect you against digital data security breaches across your entire payment network, not just a single card. Does your hosting company have staff that are constantly patching security vulnerabilities, so nothing can attack your website?
Secure your hardware too.
Data breaches can be caused by physical property being stolen too. If your servers, laptops, cell phones or other electronics are not secure and easy to steal, you are taking a big risk. Security cameras and alarms will help, but physically locking down computers and servers will help even more.
Hire an outside expert to evaluate your risks and, if necessary, guard your property and data – physical and online. Make sure you do your homework, though, to ensure that the company you trust with your business is truly trustworthy.
"How to Protect your Small Business Against a Cyber Attack," Entrepreneur
"5 Ways to Keep Your Data Safe From Hackers," Inc.
"How to Keep Your Small Business Safe From Data Breaches and Hacks," CIO