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How to beef up your company’s cybersecurity

March 21, 2016

Article courtesy of Independent Bank

Implement a few simple modifications to ward off hackers.

The downside of our increasingly tech-savvy business environment is that when the tech is in the wrong hands, it can bring a business down very quickly—and create untold amounts of time and money trying to repair damage done by hackers.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable. In a 2012 article in Inc. magazine, a study reveals that cyberattacks on small businesses were up 300 percent over the prior year. Smaller businesses are reportedly more favorable to hackers due to weaker security systems. Implementing a few simple modifications can help your business ward off unwanted hackers.

Outsource your ordering and payment systems 
One easy way to eliminate credit card theft is to eliminate storage of sensitive financial information altogether. According to a Forbes article, credit card processing, order management, and e-commerce solutions can be expensive investments, but if they are handled through the right companies, you will take a huge weight off your shoulders by trusting experts with access to the latest security technology.

Establish rules for your employees
The Small Business Administration advises that businesses create regulations for how employees handle and protect sensitive information—as well as establish penalties for violating these policies. Using mobile devices for business purposes will need additional consideration. The SBA also offers a Small Biz Cyber Planner that helps businesses create cybersecurity strategies. Also, the Federal Communication Commission advises limiting employee access to data and information. 

Use secure Wi-Fi networks
Another tip from the SBA is to ensure that your Wi-Fi network, whether at home or on the job, is secure and hidden. Making it harder for hackers to find your network will deter them from trying to access it. 

Keep antivirus software up to date
Install and regularly update your company’s software that protects against viruses, malware, and spyware. Also ensure that your employees are using complex passwords that are changed regularly. When your employees are aware of cybersecurity risks, they can be prepared to implement appropriate steps to protect your business. 

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