If you’re not focusing on your business’s cybersecurity in 2018, you’re putting yourself and your customers at risk. Period. Hackers are getting smarter and smarter, and unless you’re also getting more savvy you’re going to pay the price one of these days. Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to put yourself back on the right track. Here are six must-dos to protect your business from cyberattacks.



1. Don’t Comingle Accounts



Have separate accounts for your business and personal emails, banking, and everything else. This protects your business in the event that your personal accounts are compromised. Make sure you use different passwords for your business and personal accounts as well. That way, if hackers obtain the details for your personal accounts, your business ones will still be protected.



2. Get Your Employees Up to Speed



Many business owners don’t take cybersecurity seriously enough, and even more don’t train their employees to participate in the process. The most vulnerable part of your security strategy is your team. Make data security a regular part of training meetings, and ensure that the entire company stays up to date on best practices. Confine employee access to just the systems and processes they need to do their jobs, and give each employee their own login credentials. If you must let an employee go, disable their access before they have even left the building. Most data breaches occur because of accidental loopholes. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.



3. Don’t Neglect the Basics



Cybersecurity is a fast-paced and constantly changing field, but the basics haven’t changed. Strong and regularly updated passwords, two-factor authentication, and a reputable anti-virus program will go a long way toward stopping data breaches. Hollywood would have you believe that most hacks are conducted by seasoned criminals exploiting little known errors buried in one line of code, but that’s not the case. All it takes is one employee clicking on a suspicious link in an email for intruders to gain access to your data. Train your employees to spot and avoid these threats.



4. Stay on Top of the FINRA Checklist



One of the best resources for the most up-to-date cybersecurity precautions is a checklist offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You can access it here. This is a great comprehensive resource to make sure that your business is as protected as it can be. It even helps you plan for what to do if a breach does occur so you can stay calm and minimize the damage.



5. Consider Hiring a Cybersecurity Consultant



This sounds extremely dramatic, but cybersecurity truly is one area where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You have a lot on your mind, but data security professionals think about only one thing – spotting and closing loopholes that hackers might exploit. The money you spend hiring someone to perform a comprehensive review of your business’s data security practices will be well worth it if they can spot problems before they arise.



6. Don’t Wait! This Is A Problem for Today, Not Tomorrow



If all this seems like a lot, don’t panic. Start with the basics (like enabling two-factor authentication, purchasing some anti-virus software, and setting unique passwords for all your accounts), and work up to the hard stuff. The most important thing is that you get started. At the risk of sounding alarmist, hackers are out there right now looking for easy targets. Don’t let your business be one of them.



If you want more tips on securing sensitive payment data, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can always call us at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you how we’re committed to the success of all our customers.



PS – Here are five more business security essentials you can’t afford to skip.



PPS – Here’s what you need to know about PCI compliance.