Cybersecurity is a critical issue for businesses of all sizes. While data breaches at major corporations tend to capture the big headlines, small and medium-sized businesses are potential targets. Unfortunately, hackers often see these businesses as easier targets because of their lack of resources and security expertise. All businesses should implement appropriate safeguards to help prevent a data breach that exposes sensitive information, disrupts operations and opens the door to lawsuits.
“The Internet and all its accompanying risks are not going away any time soon. Do your business, your clients and your bottom line a favor by preparing for the risks before they cause serious damage,” said Nathan Oland, senior national account executive for Federated Insurance.
Oland shared several practices truckstop and travel plaza operators can implement to help keep the risk of data breaches low. Oland’s tips to help reduce risk include:
Utilize Best Practices Education and Training: Educate all employees with the same best practices. When new employees join or when best practices are updated, provide refresher sessions.
Protect Against Malicious Code: Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Ensure that all software installed on the network is updated and set to update automatically.
Back Up Data: It doesn’t matter whether data is stored in the cloud, on your premises, or in a hybrid data center—back up all files to media that is not connected to the Internet.
Create Strong Passwords and Authentication: Require employees to create strong passwords, such as a phrase containing random words or letters. Consider implementing universal factor authentication that requires a physical USB device.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks: Change the password on your Wi-Fi network so that it is not the default and ensure that if you provide guest access to a Wi-Fi network, that guests cannot access your employee network.
Create a Mobile Device Policy: If your employees need access to your network with a mobile device or off-site computer, provide them with virtual private network (VPN) access.
Provide Firewall Security for Internet Connection: Make sure your operating system’s firewall is enabled and properly configured. If employees work from home, ensure that their home systems are protected by a firewall.
Control Access to Computers: Control physical access to your computers and create a user account for each employee. Ensure that mobile devices and laptops are locked up or protected by adequate passwords when unattended. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.
Invest in Cyber Liability Insurance: Make sure your business has a full suite of cyber coverage to respond to the ever-changing cyber exposure.
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