November 9, 2019
Whatever type of small to midsized business you run, you probably have large clusters of stored financial data that need to be protected. A breach of this data can lead to unpleasant consequences for your otherwise successful business, such as identity theft, slander or bankruptcy. Thankfully there are steps you can take to help protect your organization’s financial data and leave you worry-free. You also don’t have to do it alone. In addition to reading this article, contact Frank W. Kapitza & Associates if you need help ensuring your data is secure and protected.
1) Use strong passwords. This may seem like a given, but many business owners and employees use passwords that can easily be guessed by a potential cybercriminal. Examples of this are birthdays, 1234, the company name or even “password.” The best passwords are mixtures of letters, numbers and symbols that are unique to the user. For example, this useful article gives smart advice about putting together a sentence and taking the first letters of every word, creating a strong password that even the cleverest of cybercriminals couldn’t guess.
2) Use private internet connections. Create a Wi-Fi network that is unique to your company and can only be accessed in the workplace. A public network could be an easy gateway for potential cybercriminals to locate your data from their own home or a public place. Therefore, it is best to use a Wi-Fi network that is only accessible to members of the company, protected by a strong password and gets shut off as soon as people leave the building.
3) Keep your data organized. It is very important for you to know where your data is stored at all times so you can access it and make changes if necessary at a moment’s notice. Additionally, by paying careful attention to where your data is stored, you will easily notice if something is wrong and be able to take the steps to fix it before it is too late.
4) Have employees take precautions when not on the job site. If you do not have private Wi-Fi for your employees, make sure they take the proper precautions to protect the company’s data when they are not in the workplace. They should never share the data at home or with their friends, and if they are doing work in a public place, they should make sure that their screen is not visible to passersby. Additionally, employees should not leave their computer or any other device unattended while they use the restroom or are otherwise away from their workspace. Even a seemingly innocent action like this is enough for a cybercriminal to get the information they need.
5) Use multifactor authentication. The need to go through extra steps after logging into a company account may seem annoying and arbitrary, but it works wonders for protecting financial data. This means that even if a cybercriminal somehow got hold of an account associated with your company, they would not be able to proceed further after logging in because they don’t have access to the cell phone where a PIN is sent. And if an employee receives a PIN or similar push notification when they are not logging into the account, it alerts them and you to suspicious activity and makes it easier to nip it in the bud. Make sure to come up with a careful system and develop a clear understanding of it with your employees to keep your financial data secure.