When it comes to small business security, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that there are more tools than ever to keep small businesses secure. The infancy of electronic payment acceptance is behind us, and federal agencies and merchant services providers alike are more well-equipped than ever to keep your business safe. The bad news is that small businesses remain vulnerable. Consider the recent case of two Ohio residents syphoning over $300,000 from local banks into their own accounts. So what can you do to ensure that your small business is secure?
To help answer this question, today we will discuss a few of the most common security issues facing small businesses, a quick checklist you can perform to rate your business’ security, and how to protect your business against fraudulent activities when it comes to electronic payment acceptance.
Common Security Issues Facing Small Businesses
There is little question that cybersecurity is the biggest threat facing most small businesses. Yet traditional security threats remain a very real concern for most industries. Here are a few of the most common security issues facing small businesses from a variety of industries:
Perhaps the most prevalent fraudulent scams running today are phishing attacks. These are essentially attempts from an individual or organization to steal sensitive information ranging from bank account information to customer data to login credentials. Training employees to be cognizant of phishing scams is extremely important.
Malware can be considered any type of software that is potentially harmful to your computer or to you. Ransomware is malware that holds victims “hostage” until a ransom is paid. Using caution while surfing the web and answering emails is the front line of defense against these attacks.
Malicious employee behavior
This type of security threat is often ignored because many small business owners work with friends and family. Those who hire strangers are still susceptible because it is easy to trust employees when your business is small. Unfortunately, even people you believe you can trust can do huge amounts of damage to your business. Using caution and having strict best practice protocols for all employees is essential for keeping your small business safe and secure.
A lack of security protocols and/or standards
Regardless of the details of the threat, all businesses should have a written protocol to handle security issues. This begins with documenting all business activities accurately, having disaster recovery plans, and using best practices for sensitive transactions. At the end of the day, this is perhaps the most important consideration as it may protect your business from being held liable in case of a security breach.
Small Business Security Checklist
Here is a quick security checklist that small businesses can utilize to stay safe from cybersecurity threats:
Work with a reputable merchant services provider to establish payment security protocols. There is no way any small business owner can be reasonably expected to protect themselves from security threats alone. By working with trustworthy security partners, you are giving your business a great chance of success.
Have disaster recovery plans for a variety of security scenarios. Not only will these plans come into practical use in case of emergency, but they will also prove that your business was working hard to stay compliant.
Continue to update security protocols over time. Cybersecurity is nothing if not dynamic. What might have been sufficient two years ago might be woefully outdated today. Make security an ongoing effort.
Train your employees in security. All of the best protocols in the world won’t do you any good if nobody follows them. Making security a priority for your employees is vital for your small business.
Credit Card Fraud and Electronic Payment Security
One of the largest security threats facing small business which we have not yet discussed in detail is accepting electronic payments. Credit card fraud remains a huge problem for small businesses. Again, it would be unreasonable for any small business owner to tackle this problem alone. Instead, rely on your merchant account provider and/or payment processor to handle security. Important decisions will include the POS system you choose to employ, the associated apps, and whether or not your provider includes built-in security measures.
We recommend security solutions by CardSecure. This cutting edge security tech secures electronic transactions from end-to-end, effectively protecting your business and your customers. This will prevent your business from facing harsh penalties including chargebacks, fines, and even account termination.
True Merchant Offers Security Solutions for Small Businesses
Whether you are a brick and mortar retail operation or an exclusive e-commerce shop, True Merchant has your payment processing security needs covered! We are proud to offer a full suite of merchant services for businesses of all sizes including CardSecure for transaction security, ERP solutions, and payment processing of virtually all kinds.
With True Merchant, your small business will get the cutting edge technological backing it needs with the touch of a dedicated customer service team. Unlike larger companies, we take the time to work with our clients and deliver the services they need most.
To learn more about how we can help your small business grow, please call or email a member of our qualified merchant services team today!