Small business owners have so many “hats” to wear and need to juggle so much to keep their business growing and evolving as the technology and market changes. One area that small business entrepreneurs can not ignore is cyber security. Just because a business is small and/or local does not mean it is immune from cyber attacks. In fact there are more hacks and security breaches of small and medium size businesses that go unreported or underreported. We all tend to concentrate on the larger corporations and what those cyber attacks mean for all of us. However, there are some actions your small company can take to keep your data safe.
- Plan Ahead – Take a regular “security inventory” with your staff and especially with those in charge of your website and IT department. Identify internal and external risks to the security, confidentiality and integrity of your computer system. Make a plan as to how you are going to defend against each.
- Train Employees – A plan is only as good as the people who are going to execute it. Train all employees on security measures such as passwords, encryption, opening unknown emails, etc. Be sure to set up guidelines for internet use and especially use of company mobile devices so that viruses and cyber crimes do not become a problem.
- Secure your Wi-Fi networks – If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, make sure it is secure, encrypted, and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router. Be sure clients can access but you may need to change the password at regular intervals.
- Employ Best Practices for Payments – If you accept payment digitally, which you most likely do, be sure to work with the banks or processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used.
- Secure All Hardware – Laptops, tablets and other devices can easily be stolen so be sure you have a set security system in place for not only use but storage and regular checks.