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The (Net) Napoleon Complex: Small Businesses Lack Cybersecurity

During International Fraud Awareness Week, Payza is joining hundreds of other businesses and agencies in shining a spotlight on fraud in order to promote awareness, detection and prevention. Follow the Payza blog this week for insights on global fraud and tips on how to protect yourself and your business.

“Small and insecure” – this description has famously been attributed to Emperor Napoleon but studies are showing you can make the same claim about a new group, small business owners (SMBs). More and more SMBs are relying on the internet for daily operations, yet most do not apply the same anti-fraud measures they would use in a brick-and-mortar business. Without a real plan to protect their business from cyber crimes, this false sense of security can have dangerous consequences for both small business owners and their customers.

Perhaps SMBs are lulled into a false sense of security as cyber threats are less visible than a robbery– but the damage can be much greater. While more than three-fourths of small business owners are confident that their company is safe from online threats such as hackers, viruses or malware, a shocking 83 percent have no formal cybersecurity plan! What’s worse, a cyber attack that might be tough for even larger business to handle can often prove fatal to a smaller one.

As vice president of Americas Marketing for SMB at Sysmantec, Brian Burch sees first-hand the havoc that cyber attacks can wreak on a company. Almost 40 percent of the over 1 billion cyberattacks prevented by his organization targeted companies with less than 500 employees. If a smaller online company does not have an established internet security policy and a consistent practice for IT/security management, it may only take one well planned data breach to destroy the business.

While cybersecurity is everybody’s business, online business owners have the added responsibility of defending their websites against cyber criminals. The challenge facing many online businesses is finding the balance between a robust policy for protecting their clients’ personal and financial details that is also flexible enough to change with the growing needs of the business.

If your business works with online payment processing, it is especially important to have a policy in place to ensure that sensitive information is protected. These three quick tips are a great place to get started:

The 3 W’s of Your Sensitive Data: Make sure you can answer these questions before you start collecting sensitive data in the first place.

  • What type of information is your business collecting (names, addresses, identification information, etc)?
  • Where is this information kept?
  • Who has access to it?

Don’t Need It? Don’t Keep It: Once you have determined what information you intend to collect, evaluate whether you really need to keep it.

Choose a Secure Service: You can verify whether the providers you would like to use have been validated  as a secure payments system by accessing the PCI Council list.

Payza’s Protection

Here at Payza we understand better than most just how important cyber security is. Accessing online financial transactions by stealing personal data is a big target for cybercriminals, so we dedicate a major proportion of our resources to securing our system from cyber threats. Here are a few of the ways Payza’s fraud protection strategy keeps data secure:

  • 128-bit SSL encryption: All transaction data are filtered through a 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer SSL encryption. Our encryption system secures the personal and financial data of our members to prevent fraudsters from intercepting and exploiting your private information.
  • Website review for all of our merchants: Websites that use Payza Checkout Payment Buttons are screened via an in-depth website review to ensure that they comply with Payza’s standards. These security measures enhance the overall security of your account and our network, and help keep fraudsters out of our system.
  • FraudMatrix: our proprietary, state-of-the-art real-time monitoring platform, Payza is committed 100% to providing you with the most secure e-commerce experience.

As marketplace activities continue to move online, staying up-to-date on fraudulent cyber activities will be increasingly important. Following these established anti-fraud activities will keep your customers’ data safe and ensure that your online business does not become known as an easy target for criminals.