Since last November's massive credit and debit card data breach at Target, there has been a steady flow of similar attacks at other national retailers such as Michaels Arts & Crafts and Neiman Marcus. However, security threats are not limited to large retailers. Businesses of all types and sizes face a growing threat from cyber criminals. It is crucial to understand the most common ways data breaches can occur and to take steps to mitigate those risks.
Keep Data Secure - Because there is nothing more important than keeping your customer's payment card information secure, compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is critical. This applies to all card accepting entities - online to brick and mortar, small to large, merchants to billers.
Protect Your Network - Implementation of appropriate firewall and antivirus technology is a first line of defense for your network. Updates to security software should be applied in a timely fashion. Security settings on software, browser and email programs should be configured in such a way that they meet your company's needs without adding unnecessary risks.
Educate Employees - As distributed work environments continue to grow, it is essential to establish and communicate usage policies to employees. Employees should be instructed to use public Wi-Fi only in very limited circumstances. Any data that shouldn't be made public, such as proprietary business or customer information or credit card numbers should not be transmitted or accessed through public Wi-Fi.