Cyber Security Checklist for Your Business

Small business owner

Cyber attacks are a constantly changing threat landscape that can leave your small business vulnerable. Following these measures can help protect your finances.

Password Integrity

Your employees need a password policy for accessing company systems. For example, require passwords that include letters, numbers, symbols, case sensitivity and a certain number of characters. You could set a policy on how often passwords must be changed and require that employees do not reuse previous passwords. This can often be enforced using software settings.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an authentication method that requires users to provide additional credentials to gain access to an application, online account, or a network. It usually involves a special code being sent to the user’s phone either via text message or an application on their phone.

Adding multi-factor authentication to your accounts helps protect against many of the biggest threats to your data such as phishing attacks and password reuse.

Email Security

Lock your email so only authenticated users can send emails from your domain. Email can be hacked to send spam that appears to be sent from your business. Using spam filters, quarantines and the correct SPF, DKIM and DMARC records in your domain setup can all help secure your email. If you use third-party services for email (for example, email newsletters, forms on your website, etc.) then adding these records can also improve deliverability.

Consult a domain expert for assistance with SPF, DKIM and DMARC records.

Consider using an email monitoring service that can check if your emails are being delivered and whether anyone is trying to use your email address to send phishing emails.

Read More: How to Start Cybersecurity Training for Employees

Secure Wi-Fi

Make sure your networks are secured with complex passwords to prevent anyone from hacking in from outside your business. If you offer Wi-Fi access for your customers, this should be on a separate network to your internal systems and still require a guest password.

Systems Access

Protecting your systems (computers and networks) is crucial to protecting your business and customers’ information. Restrict who is allowed access to your systems and where possible, use access privilege settings on hardware and software (for example, administrator, operator, editor, etc.). Consider locking cabinets, password protecting computers and installing security cameras. Anti-virus and firewall software should be installed to protect against cyber threats.

Regular Backups

It’s essential you have a system for your backups and regularly test them. Decide if you’ll use cloud-based or on-premise backups and data storage. The frequency of backup you choose would depend on your business (for example if you do many transactions every hour, you may need to back up in real time, but if you only have a few charges each day, then a daily backup may be fine.) Backup systems should be automated and well protected with passwords and MFA. If you have physical backups, make sure that you keep a copy off site in case of a fire or natural disaster.

Security Policies

Assign a senior, trusted employee to manage your security policies. Document your requirements (like those in this plan) that you need to keep your information and employees safe.

User Education and Accountability

Cyber security breaches usually begin with errors made by employees within the business. Your employees should know your security policies and why they exist. Store policies in a central place that is accessible to all employees.

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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