There’s been a lot of shocking business news in the past few months, but little of it is as extreme as the Equifax data breach. It’s estimated that the crime has affected over 143 million Americans, and it seems worse than other security issues because people don’t choose to build a relationship with the credit bureau. Here, small business owners can learn several lessons that have arisen from the Equifax breach.
Don’t Assume That the Business Isn’t Vulnerable Because of Its Size
Small businesses have fewer resources to fight cybercrime than larger firms do, but they are equally susceptible to attacks. According to CNBC, over 50% of small business owners have fallen victim to some type of cybercrime. Because small companies often make few cybersecurity investments, they’re a preferred target for hackers. An attack against a small business may make the news, but an attack against a smaller company may leave it ill-equipped to deal with the consequences.
Promptly Apply Security Upgrades and Patches
Equifax has admitted that their vulnerability arose from a failure to install a crucial security update. Business owners should ensure that all employees know how to install updates on system devices. If there’s trouble, or if updates are blocked, it could be a sign of a malware infection.
Enforce a Company Security Policy
When a small business’ website is hacked, it’s often because a worker opened a bad link in an email or made another minor mistake. Company owners can invest in cost-effective, simple education programs that are proven to prevent these mistakes. It may help to tell employees that adherence to company security policies is considered a critical component of on-the-job performance.
Know Which Devices Employees Are Using for Work
Many of today’s employees use mobile devices for remote work, and some workers prefer using their own devices on the job. Company owners may face some backlash if they try to monitor employees’ personal devices for proper security, but they must balance workers’ preferences with the company’s security. If mobile devices enhance morale and productivity, the business owner can consider buying dedicated devices for certain tasks.
It’s important for business owners and individuals to find out whether they’ve been affected by the breach. Everyone should take steps to protect themselves and their interests, and the process can start with a visit to the Equifax site to find out what assistance the bureau can offer.