Small Business Cyber Security Needs Continue

data breach 2A recent article by HuffPost Business examined how cyber security for small business continues. A recent hack at LinkedIn certainly demonstrates that point.

The majority of small businesses are storing email addresses, billing addresses and passwords of their clients. At the same time, they are doing little to safeguard their own passwords or creating passwords that are difficult to break and then changing them on a regular basis.

In 2015, Mary Peabody joined us here at Power of Business to do two sessions on Cyber Security.

Mary has shared a recorded webinar on payment fraud done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Also, she shared the slides from another session done by the SBA and the Federal Reserve Bank.

With this information, you may realize it is time to develop a cyber security plan for your small business.  The Federal Communication Commission has developed two tools to help you make this a reality, a planning guide and a tip sheet.

Now is a great time to protect your business. We hope these tools help.

Cyber Security and Your Small Business – Part 2

Mary Peabody, Univ of Vermont, and Steve Hancock, Cornell, offer more tips on how small businesses can keep their online data secure. 

In this episode, Mary and Steve discuss how to protect your customers. Businesses need to build trust with clients. It is that trust which then allows the client to provide his or her credit card and personal information when you ask.

There are four strategies a small business owner can use to build such trust:

  1. Have and follow a privacy policy
  2. Know the data you are collecting. What is it? How will you use it? How are you storing it? Who has access?
  3. Keep what you need and delete what you don’t.
  4. Protect the information.

It is not uncommon to hear business owners express concern about the perceived cost of keeping data secure. That cost is made up of two things, software and time.

The software can often be obtained for free. Companies are increasingly will to share it as data security is in everyone’s interest.

As Mary identifies, there will be time involved. Yet the time spent upfront will be much less than what would be spent should a data breach occur. And it is not only the issue of fixing the data breach but the time and energy you will spend in re-establishing trust with your clients. Recovery is much more expensive than time up front.

Another thing business owners can do is to help their customers stay safe when online. A tip sheet was provided that business owners might share with their customers as a place to start.

As a business owner, you want your customers to feel comfortable in engaging with you and your website. Take the time and make the effort to ensure your work does not disappear because of an online security lapse.

Cybersecurity and Your Small Business

If you have a small business, you are faced with a a cybersecurity risk.

Cybersecurity is not one of the catchy topics that small business owners often plan for in their business. Yet sixty percent of small businesses end up shutting the doors if they end up with a data breach. Think of all your hard work that is quickly lost.

Plus more and more of security breaches, now just over 70%, are targeted at small businesses. One of the reasons is,  unlike bigger companies, small businesses spend less time and money on trying to ensure such things don’t happen.

Mary Peabody, University of Vermont, and Steve Hadcock, Cornell, discussed these issues during the October Friday Chat, Why Hackers Love Your Small Business.

In the chat you will hear them talk about how a small business owner can protect themselves, doing business with other firms who might be hacked and how that might affect your business, and password software.

Mary shares two online resources:

It’s important that you plan your online security as well as how you will respond if it happens to you.

So grab a cup of coffee and take 15 minutes to protect your small business and your investment. 

PS – Next month we will offer more resources plus discuss how you can protect your customers information. Sign up at: http://powerofbusiness.net/ 

Mobile Devices and Safety/Security: It’s Crucial

We are a mobile world. Our lives are filed with mobile devices. They are so easy to carry around with us.

The ease of carrying the devices with you makes it just as easy for someone else to carry them away.

But there are many ways that you can protect your device and your data as well as your customer information.

Connie Hancock, University of Nebraska Extension Educator, guides you through some basic steps to keep your data and your devices secure. Take a couple of minutes to watch the video and download the quick-read tips.

Security is crucial. Take action today.