If you own or manage a small business, you’re undoubtedly concerned about how to keep your customers’ personal and your business’ proprietary and financial information secure. While you may not think that you have much to steal, since you are a small operation, a cyber thief misappropriating your customers’ credit card and bank account information could cause your business and its reputation to take a big hit. It’s not an exaggeration to say that such a breach has the potential to put you out of business. One surprising resource for tips on keeping your information safe is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
What you can learn from Homeland Security about cybersecurity
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, nearly half of all small businesses will be the victim of cyber theft, and each incident costs the company an average of $9,000. This government agency has a wealth of information to help small and medium-sized businesses prevent such criminals from invading their computer databases. They offer a toolkit to help smaller enterprises assess their risk level as well as more than a dozen downloadable resources. They also provide a list of tips to help business owners and managers prevent cybercrime.
Tips for combating cyber theft
The Department of Homeland Security recommends that all businesses take at least these necessary precautions:
1. Install an anti-virus software program and update it regularly.
2. Make sure your WiFi network is secure by using a firewall and encryption software.
3. Set up company systems and procedures to keep sensitive information safe.
4. Educate your employees about how to keep data safe and then hold them accountable for any breaches.
5. Require that your employees create strong, unique passwords and that they change them often.
6. Spend a little money on data loss protection software. Use encryption to protect data you are sending out of your network, and use two-factor authentication, whenever possible.
7. Protect all of your website pages that are accessible to the public, not just the checkout or sign in pages.
To learn more about cybersecurity and how you can keep your company’s and your customers’ sensitive information protected from cybercriminals, give us a call at (310) 893-0878 or send us an email at [email protected]. That way you don’t have to worry about remembering all of these tips; we’ll take care of it for you and allow you to concentrate on your customers.