The holiday shopping season is less than two weeks away, and many small business owners across the country are scrambling to make the final preparations for stocking, scheduling, and the like as a consequence. However, one thing they might overlook that can be vital to the ongoing financial success of their companies is the security of their computer systems.
There are many ways in which criminals may be able to breach the security of a company’s systems, and perhaps the most important at this time of year is by compromising their point-of-sale systems, according to a report from Small Business Computing. These may be targeted specifically because they handle customer payment data, and can either be hacked on-site or remotely. The latter is becoming more common, and as such, small business owners need to be more wary of things that seem suspicious as a result.
“Scrutinize any out-of-the-ordinary requests from any of your service providers or software owners, and be sure to pass that on to the store level,” Andrew Shea, vice president of information security consulting firm Conventus, told the site. “Carefully vet any requests – particularly those for adding new users, expanding privileges or changing passwords – before you accommodate them. You don’t want to give an attacker an easy way into your network.”
Addressing network security
Further, companies should also take additional steps to make sure their networks are protected from phishing requests and the like that can compromise payment system security, the report said. That should often include training employees about some of the most common signs of an attempted attack, as well as investing in more robust software to both encrypt vital data and protect from viruses and hacking attacks that could otherwise go undetected for months or more.
These days, many owners continue to hold onto the, “it can’t happen to me,” idea when they deal with security, but the fact of the matter is that hackers are targeting smaller companies with greater and greater frequency because of how easy they can be to breach. For this reason, having a kind of small business insurance known as tech insurance – which helps protect from some of the costs associated with dealing with a data breach – can be a very helpful tool to handle such problems.