Information security used to be largely a big-business problem. It was commonly thought that small businesses, by virtue of their comparatively tiny customer base, didn’t provide an attractive enough target to warrant expending extensive resources on security. Unfortunately those days are over, and small businesses have become attractive targets for hackers and intruders precisely because they are perceived to have more vulnerable systems. In fact, according to Symantec, small businesses were subject to hundreds of millions of cyber threats in just the first few months of 2012, and a typical cyber-attack can cost the business close to $200,000 as well as risk the future of the company as a whole.
If your small business processes credit card transactions, you are probably already aware of the requirement to be PCI Compliant, and to process transactions via PCI-compliant equipment and service providers. However, there is more to protecting your business from cyber security threats than just PCI compliance.
To help small businesses create security plans that address their specific business practices, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched the Small Biz Cyber Planner 2.0 in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This tool provides a framework upon which small businesses can create and customize their own security policies and procedures.
It contains 12 sections, each addressing a security area: Privacy and Data Security, Scams and Fraud, Network Security, Website Security, Email, Mobile Devices, Employees, Facility Security, Operational Security, Payment Cards, Incident Response and Reporting, and Policy Development, Management. It also includes a Cyber Security Glossary and a Cyber Security Links page. The content was developed by a public-private partnership between government experts from the Department of Homeland Security, the National Cyber Security Alliance and The Chamber of Commerce, and private IT and security companies.
You can download the complete generic planner here. Or you can create a plan specifically for your company by using the Small Biz Cyber Planner tool to customize a cover sheet and select the sections you want to include. For additional help with small business security, also download the FCC Cybersecurity Tip Sheet.
This Small Business Tip from PaySimple offers one more way to secure and optimize your business.