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4 Quick Tips to Improve Your Business Data Security

The cliches about technology are plentiful, but there's no denying its impact on business today. Companies of any size - small, medium or large, rely heavily on the latest and greatest technology to operate in today's digitally driven commercial landscape. In fact, if a certain aspect of technological operations fails, merchants potentially lose out on revenue and customers. 

A National Cyber Security AllianceTM and SymantecTM study found 71 percent of small-business owners said their company was somewhat or very dependent on the internet for daily operations. Another two-thirds said they leaned on the internet more in the past 12 months, which highlights the growing importance in utilizing the latest and greatest tech to support an operation. (1) 

In fact, nearly three-quarters of respondents said having a safe and trusted internet connection is critical to business success. Without it, they are leaving money on the table. A separate SymantecTM study revealed of the companies that experienced some type of breach, one-third lost sales and 20 percent lost customers. (2). A business that doesn't protect itself against modern-day cyber and in-store threats is vulnerable to large financial risks.

Invest in the right protection

Local merchant operations depend on daily customers to keep their doors open. If a company has to halt production for an extended period of time, they're ultimately losing money. It's critical to set up robust and comprehensive security measures in today's merchant marketplace.

Here are four quick tips for small-business owners looking to bolster their business security through technology:

  1. Upgrade business devices, hardware and operating systems: The newest technology has the best security measures. For example, the latest payment processors help safeguard sensitive information. A simple security audit or system check will see if devices and office hardware is currently operating with the latest software and security measures. 
     
  2. Completely mobilize your network: Local merchants that operate in the cloud have greater visibility over sensitive data.  That said, if multiple devices are accessing the same network, these gadgets must be equally protected. It’s a good idea to have employees and staff use a PIN code protection system to access the network remotely.
     
  3. Install security cameras around the store: Even if a business doesn’t feel at risk in their location, customers will be more at ease knowing added security measures have been put in place. Plus, business owners can access video footage from portable devices if their network is mobile. 
     
  4. Encrypt and back up data: It doesn't hurt to back everything up and even encrypt sensitive information. It's simply best practice to safeguard critical business and consumer information. Without this extra line of defense, merchants leave themselves open to a potential breach, the result of which may be extremely costly. Encrypted data is essentially rendered useless if it's obtained by an outsider.

Just because a merchant operation is smaller than its corporate counterparts doesn't mean it can get complacent with security measures. Small-business owners must invest in a robust and powerful security network, whether it's online or in store.

1. National Cyber Security Alliance, Symantec, https://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/ (2012)

2. Symantec, http://eval.symantec.com/mktginfo/enterprise/other_resources/b-small_biz_assoc_kit_interactive.en-us.pdf (2012)

 

Cyber Security Alliance™ and Symantec™ are registered or unregistered marks belonging to their respective owners who are unaffiliated with and do not endorse or sponsor Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.


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