Small Business Week is coming up, which is a great time for us to think about our business technology and cybersecurity.
The unstoppable advancements in this digital age have been fast-moving and always-changing. The need to keep retail technology secure in today’s world should be a top priority for businesses of all sizes.
Small businesses especially should be aware that cyberattacks are more common than most care to believe. Whether you’re an owner or an employee of a small business, being mindful of the impact a cyberattack could have on your brand is vital.
Cyberattacks can indefinitely harm a company by driving trusted and new customers away. Savvy consumers who see that your security system has been breached before or have had their information compromised in a breach, will think twice before performing transactions or interacting with your brand.
The best way to prevent this is to make sure you have a secure system. Fortunately, as hackers evolve, so does cybersecurity; consider these steps to better secure your system and stay a step ahead of cybercriminals.
1. Basic Cybersecurity
As with any learning experience, you want to begin with a strong foundation in your business’ cybersecurity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) covers some cybersecurity basic points and tactics.
To start, you’ll want to make sure your security system has a few extremely important features:
- Automatic updates: With the help of an automatic updating system, you can ensure you don’t miss an update and risk a breach of security. Along with the automatic update, however, you’ll want to confirm that the system makes those updates. Create a schedule and check that the updates have been completed on a regular basis.
- A secure router: The next basic cybersecurity item you want to make sure you have is a secure router. This tip may seem like an obvious one that should have already been checked, but it’s always beneficial to double-check your security. This includes changing the default name and passwords on any router you use. It’s also crucial to keep complementary customer Wi-Fi separate from the network you use to perform business on.
- Strong authentication: Strong authentication – sometimes called 2-step verification, multi- or two-factor authentication, or login approval – provides an extra layer of security beyond your username and password to protect against account hijacking. It can be easily used in any small business that has login credentials. You can learn more about it at org.
- Planning: Proper planning should be incorporated into all cybersecurity systems. It’s crucial to schedule updates and make sure they complete. You should also have a plan of action to manage cyber threats and a system for reporting glitches or bugs in your technology. A report system will help you be aware of any issues your technology may be having before the situation becomes severe. The National Cyber Security Alliance’s CyberSecure My Business™ program, based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, provides the SMB community with the tips, resources and tools they need to protect against and plan for the worst should a cyberattack occur.
2. The Importance of a Secure POS system
When it comes to a Point of Sale (POS) system, you probably guessed it — you want to make sure it’s secure. A secure POS system can come in multiple forms. It’s important to conduct research and find the best and most secure solution for your business.
Regarding the security of your POS system, ensure that your customers’ personal information is secure. Your system holds a lot of valuable information from your customers, such as their names, credit card numbers and more. As a result, it’s essential for you to take steps to avoid a breach of privacy.
3. Keep Up with Best Practices
Advancements are always being made with new technology, cybersecurity and hacking. The most efficient way to approach these advancements is with best practices.
Security is vital to running a business, whether it’s in the form of online defenses or brick-and-mortar physical security. Store security has changed from people physically manning the location to video surveillance and high-tech software. Similar to the evolution of physical security, cybersecurity and technology have evolved as well.
When you’re adding new technology or cybersecurity solutions to your small business, it’s critical for you to test it to ensure that everything is working properly. Technology is always changing to enhance customer experience; make sure the technology is secure and meets the expectations of your business and customers.
New technology, such as facial recognition, digital carts and more should always be secure to ensure customer protection. To make sure your data, and that of your customers, stays secure and out of the hands of hackers, you need to reassess and update your cybersecurity as cyber threats change and you incorporate new technology into your business operations.
4. Finding the Right Provider
As many small businesses know, cybersecurity usually comes from a third party. When you’re looking into cybersecurity providers, remember not to settle for anything less than the perfect fit for your business. It’s in your best interest — and that of your customers and employees — to search until you find a provider that offers the utmost security and can handle your unique specifications and requirements.
You should also reevaluate the cybersecurity provider you currently have. After doing so, you’ll be able to decide whether or not they offer you the security you need. If you find that they don’t, for your customers’ and business’ sake, choose a new provider.
Maintain Your Security and Keep Customer Data Safe
All of these steps can be annually revisited to ensure you’re keeping up with the ever-changing advancements in cybersecurity and technology. The future of retail technology is always evolving and should be carefully studied by small businesses trying to keep up with advancements.
Small Business Week could act as a security reminder for all businesses. Take some time to make sure your site is secure and reassure your customers along the way. The standards you hold your cybersecurity to will help your customers see the value and pride you take in your small business, which will only help it grow and thrive.
Kayla Matthews is a productivity and technology journalist with interests in big data, cybersecurity, IoT and other technologies. Aside from her tech blog, Productivity Bytes, you can read more of her work on CloudTweaks, Malwarebytes and IT Security Guru.