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How Can You Prevent Cyber Attack and Fraud Against Your Small Business?

Cyber Attacks on the Rise

Did you know that 43% percent of cyber attacks target small businesses? That’s why it’s so important that (as well as dedicating time and resources to understand other aspects of running your business) you spend some time learning about how to prevent against attack and fraud. Here are some of the key ways your business can bolster its security and guard against criminal activity.

 Use varied, complex passwords

There are so many things we’re required to log into nowadays that there’s a temptation to just use one password for everything. But if you really want to prevent cyber attack and fraud against your small business, you need go the extra mile when it comes to your passwords. Best practices include:

  • Using long passwords that consist of at least 10 digits. Make sure your passwords contain letters in uppercase and lowercase, numbers and symbols too.
  • Changing your password roughly every 90 days, and never using the same password twice.
  • Make sure you have a system in place that locks a hacker out after a set number of invalid log in attempts.
  • Using different passwords for different applications and websites.
  • Don’t write your passwords down somewhere where a hacker may access them. If you need to make a note of them, use secure credential management applications, such as LastPass and LogMeOnce.

If you want to see just how serious password breaches can be, take a look at two cyber attacks from 2015 – the attack on VTech Learning Lodge was due, in part, to poor passwords, and offers some useful lessons to businesses everywhere.

Fraud

No-one likes to think that the people working with them would ever commit fraud or steal from the company, but sadly, it does happen. That’s why it’s important you write checks that cannot be tampered with.

The most straightforward way of preventing fraud is to use supplies from a company like this one. Their checks and supplies offer some of the best fraud protection on the market right now, allowing your business to write checks with watermarks to protect against forgery and counterfeiting, heat-sensitive icons to prevent photocopying, and security coatings so that checks can’t be re-written to change payee names or amounts.

As well as using special check supplies, protect your business by checking your finances at regular intervals to check that everything tallies up, and try to sign each check personally if you can.

Point of Sale Attacks

Point of sale attacks happen when attackers target the machines used by your business to conduct retail transactions. If your business uses machines that accept credit or debit cards to conduct transactions, you’re using hardware and software that has an underlying operating system that can be attacked. (This article explains precisely how point of sales attacks happen, if you’re interested in finding out more).

So, how can you prevent point of sales attacks? Well, the most effective thing you can do is invest in software that uses a secure iOS system, and uses PCI-DSS-compliant hardware too. This kind of software is worth every penny as it it places strict dividers between applications: it prevents a hack on one app from affecting another application at the same time, which limits the amount of information or money a hacker can steal from your business. No piece of software is 100% defensible against determined hackers, but getting some strong point of sale software is a very good step towards enhancing your business’s security.

As you can see, there are number of ways small businesses can fall victim to cyber attacks and fraud. Read up on articles online to keep yourself informed as technology develops, and consider investing in the kind of tools and resources listed above – spending a little bit of money to protect your business could really pay off.

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