Recently, newspapers the like the Huffington Post and the Observer have been lamenting the number of cyber attacks on businesses. Even though overall crime is down, one of the reasons for that might be the fact that many cyber crimes are simply going unreported.
Given the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks, it’s important that small businesses take preventive measures. Small businesses are the backbone and the lifeblood of the economy. Without them, modern life would grind to a halt. But too many are exposed to attacks that could bring them to their knees. The cost of a data breach for small businesses is enormous.
According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, around 90 percent of all data breaches involve small merchants. In other words, although the news tends to report about the larger data breaches, like the theft of user information from Yahoo, it’s actually smaller businesses that are most frequently targeted. Here are some tips to help you stop the hackers, dead.
Layer Encryption With POS
A weak spot for many merchants is their point of sale system. Many merchants don’t see the POS device as a potential point of entry for a hacker. But it turns out that it can become compromised if the right security procedures aren’t followed. Better POS systems use embedded EMVs. When the card is inserted into the machine, the EMV detects whether or not the card is verified. This helps to prevent the use of stolen cards at your establishment.
Build A Firewall
If you’re an office-based business, hackers want to get hold of your data. Often they can sell your data to the highest bidder, but even if your data has no market value to people outside your organization, hackers can still extract money from you.
A common tactic recently has been to hoard a company’s data for ransom money. Hackers will steal your data and then charge you a release fee to get it back.
The best way to stop this sort of thing is with a DNS firewall. These firewalls are specially designed to protect your local business network from intrusion and are able to identify suspicious packets of information.
Move To The Cloud
Businesses used to think that the cloud was a less secure way to store their data than on local hard drives. But it turns out that the combined security expertise of cloud services is usually a lot better than the IT security of the businesses that rely on them.
As a result, the image of cloud services has been turned around. Instead of being seen as a risky (if not cheaper) option, they’re now seen as the most secure way to store data. Special types of firewalls can be created to separate business cloud networks from the rest of the internet.
It’s a sad fact of life that the majority of small businesses don’t have access to world class software solutions that can protect their data. But those that implement as many layers of security as possible will help prevent fraud over their networks.