Around Halloween, images of ghosts and goblins appear, people dress up as ghouls and monsters, and television and internet streaming show horror movie marathons. Everyone knows it’s all in good fun. But if you’ve ignored IT and data security, you really have something to be scared about.

According to Accenture, the number of security breaches has increased by 67 percent in the last five years and 11 percent in the last year alone. Accenture research also found that 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses, and more than half of small businesses have experienced a data breach in the last year that came with an average price tag of of $200,000. 

Forget the Silver Bullet 

If you were dealing with a werewolf, you’d protect yourself and your business with a silver bullet. When it comes to cybersecurity, however, there isn’t one solution that can provide complete protection.

A layered approach is the best way to defend against attacks that occur in different ways and in different places on your network. Here are some of the components of a comprehensive security system:

Firewalls: A network firewall controls access to your network using rules that permit safe traffic and restrict suspicious or known threats from getting through. Businesses with a digital storefront should also have a web-application firewall (WAF) that controls data packets as they flow to and from your web application.   

Access control: This gives you the ability to control who can access  your system and who can’t. Only authorized employees can access your point of sale system (POS system) or other business systems by entering a password, using multi-factor authorization, or by biometric authentication, such as using a fingerprint scanner. 

Antimalware software: It’s vital to use antivirus or other software solutions to detect and stop malicious code from infecting and running on your system. 

Monitoring tools: You also need a way to monitor activity on your network and receive alerts when something out of the ordinary is going on. 

Employee training: People are often the weak link when it comes to security, giving up passwords or sensitive data to scammers or clicking on an email attachment or link that unleashes malware on your system. Make sure part of your security plan is educating your employees about best practices and keeping them informed when new threats rear their ugly heads.

There are also some practical measures your POS provider can share with you, such as turning off remote access if you don’t need it so people outside your store or facility can’t access your network. You can also secure your payment hardware to eliminate the possibility of skimming or other forms of tampering. 

Keep Your Business Running, Even If Things Go Bump in the Night

A cyberattack can bring your business to a halt, but there are other things that can cause downtime and, subsequently, revenue loss. In addition to addressing network security, also build a business continuity plan that can ensure your business can run, even when things go wrong. 

One solution you can deploy is backup internet, which uses cellular backups for your internet router. This technology can ensure your business can still operate during an internet outage. You can also use a solution that backs up your credit card machine by defaulting to a cell phone or hardwired dialup system, so you can take credit card payments if your internet service is disrupted.

Businesses lose thousands of dollars due to downtime and cyberattacks. But you don’t have to take on the challenge of dealing with” something weird that don’t look good.” Who you gonna call?

PlazSales is available to answer your questions about protecting your business from cyberattack and keeping your business running when disasters or outages occur. Contact us today.   

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