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Table of Contents

Lead Story

What sparks stellar innovation? Five leaders' perspectives

News

Industry Update

CFPB criticism grows

Android Pay gains pre-launch mojo

FCC declares Robo-geddon

Strong response to massive breach of federal workers' PII

Features

Entering the omnichannel age

Vanguard mobile shopper behaviors exposed

Views

Insider's report on payments: EMV and the law of unintended consequences

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

The ISO and portfolio market that wasn't supposed to be

Adam Hark
MerchantPortfolios.com

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Let's waste some money

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
Affinity Solutions Inc.

When was the last time you inventoried your tools?

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

The one man show: Strategic business planning

John Tucker
1st Capital Loans LLC

Three ways small businesses can avoid being hacked

Scott Nelson
ProPay Inc.

10 things to consider before selling your residuals

Richard A. Sachs
TouchSuite

Company Profile

dealsnapt

New Products

Simplified, processor neutral digital money

Quisk
Quisk Inc.

Revealing competitive ranking, potential gaps

Digital Gap Analysis
One Million Acts of Education

Inspiration

Non-headache meditation

Departments

Readers Speak

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 13, 2015  •  Issue 15:07:01

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Three ways small businesses can avoid being hacked

By Scott Nelson

U.S. corporations have experienced a slew of cyber-security breaches in recent years. Home Depot Inc., Target Corp., Sony Corp. and more have had company and personal data thrown into the open by computer hackers. The costs in every case have been substantial. Fortune 500 companies and other large enterprises, however, are not the only organizations susceptible to vicious cyber-attacks. Small businesses, too, must invest the necessary time and resources to protect their organizational data and retain their customers' trust.

Here are three things every small business can do to avoid cyber-security breaches.

  1. Develop strong, secure passwords

    Even in 2015, it is not uncommon for small businesses and their employees to use passwords that are easy to remember, or that are replicated for numerous accounts, to protect sensitive organizational and customer data. However, business owners must consider the security ramifications this can have for their businesses. Skilled hackers have a much better chance of accessing vital information through a password that is very easy to remember and replicated across multiple channels or accounts.

    Instead, businesses should develop strong, secure passwords using character combinations that are unique to each site, file or account that you log into. Lisa Kahn Grossman, Associate Principal in the Entrepreneurial Services department at Kaufman Rossin P.A., recommended in a Nov. 20, 2014, article published by The Business Journals that your passwords "contain at least one letter, including one capital letter and one lowercase letter, at least one number and at least one symbol and punctuation mark" to be sufficiently secure.

  2. Train your employees

    One essential thing small businesses can do to prevent cyber-security breaches is to effectively train their employees. Company executives must work with senior management to grant employees access to data on an "as needed" basis to ensure secure, sensitive data doesn't fall into incompetent hands. Additionally, companies should keep records of who has access to what information. Finally, management should teach employees how to use strong passwords, as well as deter and report spam.

  3. Stay current on security best practices

    To ensure that security breaches are sufficiently avoided, small business owners and executives should endeavor to keep up to date on cyber-security threats and prevention tactics. Reading regularly about security software updates, new ways hackers are exploiting computing networks and how best to implement company-wide trainings will be incredibly beneficial to your organization. Staying up to date on security best practices will ensure that your company continues to operate smoothly – and that you earn your customers' trust by protecting them as they deserve.

Scott Nelson has more than 29 years of professional product marketing and executive management experience in the high-tech industry. For the past six years, he has worked for ProPay Inc., a TSYS company, helping small businesses grow through online payment acceptance. Scott earned dual bachelor's degrees from Brigham Young University in marketing and finance. He also earned an MBA degree from Colorado State University. Contact him at scottnelsonpropay@gmail.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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