9 Cyber Security Tips for Small Business Owners

By Brooke Tajer on

If you're partnered with a reputable, PCI compliant payment solutions provider like PayAnywhere, you've already taken one huge step towards making sure your business is cyber secure. There are, however, other things you as a small business owner can do to further protect yourself from a cyber attack. Recently the U.S. Small Business Administration compiled nine of those tips, which we now are sharing with you:

1.) Create a cyber security plan - The FCC's Small Biz Cyber Planner is an invaluable tool for businesses that lack the resources to hire a dedicated staff member to protect themselves from cyber threats.

2.) Establish cyber security rules for your employees - Establish rules of behavior describing how to handle and protect personally identifiable information. Clearly detail the penalties for violating cyber security policies.

3.) Protect Against Viruses, Spyware, and Other Malicious Code - Install, use, and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors.

4.) Educate Employees About Safe Social Media Practices - Depending on what your business does, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm's internal business. Employees should be taught how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses.

5.) Manage and Assess Risk - Ask yourself, "What do we have to protect? And, what would impact our business the most?" Cyber-criminals often use lesser-protected small businesses as a bridge to attack larger firms with which they have a relationship. This can make unprepared small firms a less attractive business partner in the future, blocking potentially lucrative business deals.

6.) Download and Install Software Updates Regularly - All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install such updates automatically.

7.) Make Backup Copies of Important Business Data - Regularly backup the data on every computer used in your business. Critical data includes word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files.

8.) Control Physical Access to Computers/Network Components - Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft, so make sure they are stored and locked up when unattended.

9.) Secure Wi-Fi Networks - If you have a Wi-Fi network for your home business, make sure it is secure and hidden. Configure your wireless access point or router so that it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Also, make sure that passwords are required for access. It is also critical to change the administrative password that was on the device when it was first purchased.

To see these tips in their original post, click here.