Guide for Small Business Owners: Preventing and Recovering From Fraud and Data Breaches

Kiran Bhagotra
CEO/Founder, ProtectBox

May 28th, 2023

Fraud and data breaches can be devastating for small businesses. They can result in financial losses, damage the reputation of the company, and create legal headaches. Small business owners must take immediate steps to prevent fraud and data breaches or recover quickly if something goes wrong. In this guide, ProtectBox will discuss several strategies that small business owners can use to minimize the risks of fraud and data breaches.

Ensure That Your Employees Regularly Change Passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense against potential fraud and data breaches. Small business owners should ensure that employees change their passwords at regular intervals. Passwords should be complex, consisting of upper- and lower-case letters, special characters, and numbers. Employees should not use the same password for multiple accounts. Additionally, small business owners should have guidelines in place that prohibit employees from writing down passwords or sharing them with others.

Add an Extra Layer of Security With Multi-Factor Authentication

Small business owners should use multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. MFA is a security protocol that requires the user to verify their identity using two or more authentication factors. For example, a user may be required to enter a password and a one-time code sent to their phone via SMS. MFA adds an additional layer of security to the authentication process, making it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to data and systems.

Create a Secure Online Backup System for Your Data

Small business owners should ensure that all their data is regularly backed up, ideally to a secure online location. This means that even if there is a data breach, the data can be recovered. Small business owners should use a reputable backup service and ensure that the backup account is secure with a strong password. Importantly, small business owners should regularly test the backup process to ensure that data can be restored if needed.

Install a Firewall and Keep Them Up-to-Date

Small business owners should install firewalls on all devices used to conduct business. A firewall is essentially a security barrier that prevents unauthorized access to company networks, systems, and devices. Firewalls can either be hardware-based or software-based. Small business owners may consider using both to provide an additional layer of protection. Firewalls should be kept up-to-date with the latest security patches to ensure that they are effective.

Use Password-Protected PDFs

Small business owners may use PDFs frequently in their day-to-day business. PDFs can contain sensitive information, and small business owners should ensure that the documents are password-protected. This ensures that only authorized users can access the files. Small business owners should also consider compressing PDFs to reduce the file size and make them easier to share with employees without compromising on security. 

Utilize System Applications in Processing Data

Small business owners should use system applications in data processing. This allows them to track and monitor all financial transactions and other sensitive data. Business owners should ensure that only authorized employees have access to these applications. Additionally, business owners should ensure that they have security protocols in place that limit access to sensitive data.

Have an Up-to-Date Cybersecurity Policy

Small business owners should have an up-to-date cybersecurity policy in place that outlines the organization’s security protocols and procedures. The policy should detail how sensitive data is handled, who has access to it, and what measures are in place to protect it. Additionally, the policy should detail the steps that employees should take in the event of a data breach, including who to contact and what steps to take to minimize the damage.

  • We hope this blog has given you a better understanding of how fraud and data breaches can be costly for small businesses, both financially and otherwise. Small business owners can implement strategies to prevent these incidents from occurring or recover quickly if something goes wrong.

    By ensuring that employee passwords are regularly changed, creating a secure online backup system, using secure firewalls, using password-protected PDFs, utilizing system applications and products, implementing multi-factor authentication processes, and creating an up-to-date cybersecurity policy, small business owners can minimize risks and protect their businesses from potential damage. ProtectBox can help you with all of these to protect you and your business. Questions? Watch our video, we have the answers!