Learning & Insights

4 easy ways to protect your business from hackers

While you mostly hear about larger businesses being the victim of a data breach or other hacking issues, small business owners are equally at risk. Here are four ways to protect your business.

1. Know your vulnerabilities

What are the vulnerabilities of your business? Take some time to review how a hacker may gain access to your company’s data and pinpoint security weaknesses in your daily processes. If you’re not educated in this area (enough to make an assessment), talk to a security expert.

Learn all you can about the different types of fraud that happen in your industry (or your local area)—from phishing to malware to systems hacking. The more you know, the better you can protect your business.

2. Develop a security plan

Once you’ve determined your vulnerabilities, you should create a security plan. Include protocols for opening, closing and daily activities. For example, you may consider using a two-step verification process for outgoing funds or when confirming orders or shipments.

You may also require regular updates for employee and other security passwords—make sure they’re unique (no birth dates, last names, etc.). Moreover, whenever you implement something new at your business, look at it through a security lens so you can ensure you’re protected.

3. Keep software up to date

Always use the latest version of software and regularly update your anti-virus and other security applications. Back up all files and systems regularly in case of a breach.

You may also want to consider adding extra layers of security where needed, such as firewalls and software scanners. Many of these extra security software options can be obtained for free (or for a small fee).

4. Educate your employees

Educating your employees on company protocols and security risks will help to protect your business from an intrusion. Instruct employees about the warning signs, safe practices and appropriate responses to suspicious activity. Be sure they understand how malware and viruses work, and teach them how to detect a breach or other type of problem at your office.

Start protecting yourself today

The key to protecting your business is action. Don’t ignore this important part of your business. Many businesses have lost not only money but also their reputation because they didn’t take the necessary steps for protection. As you can see, most of what you can do doesn’t cost more than your time.

Once you have a solid action plan in place, responding to security threats should be a straightforward process and can limit the amount of damage a hacker may have on your business.

Visit Security Central to find more tips and information to keep your business safe online.

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The information provided is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. BB&T hopes you find this information useful but we cannot guarantee that it is accurate, up to date, or appropriate for your situation. You should consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand how the law applies to your particular circumstances or for financial information specific to your personal or business situation.

Branch Banking and Trust Company, Member FDIC.