Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have grown in popularity in recent years. Since Cyber Monday was coined in the US in 2005, it is now even bigger than Black Friday, with 2019 seeing Brits spend £5.6billion across the two retail dates.
THINK LESS #CYBERMONDAY AND MORE CYBER SECURITY MONDAY
But while Cyber Monday may be a day that everyone has heard of, we’re more concerned with cyber security than cyber discounts. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 found that four in ten businesses had reported a cyber security breach or attack in the previous year. Hence, as we gear up to the busiest season for retail, here’s our small business cyber security checklist to make sure you’re protected.
SMALL BUSINESS CYBER SECURITY CHECKLIST
As we gear up to the busiest season for retail, we’ve put together a small business cyber security checklist to make sure you’re protected.
Secure passwords may seem like an obvious suggestion, but your password choice can help make your accounts more difficult to breach. Many people tend to use the same password for multiple accounts, relying on one log-in for everything. While this can help you remember your password, it means that in the event of a cyber security breach, a cyber criminal then has your password for everything! They can use those exact details to get into any number of accounts on different platforms.
We recommend that you use a different password for all of your accounts. When creating an account, you’ll generally be given an idea of how weak or strong your password is on a sliding scale. Choose a password that is marked “strong” to help increase your chances of protection. Consider a password based on three random words, e.g. “ThreeRandomWords” to help you create new passwords every time.
Again, this may seem like a basic point, but many people fall into the habit of clicking “Remind me later” on renewal reminders. Keep your systems and software up to date to ensure that you are still protected. If you allow your security measures to lapse, you leave yourself vulnerable to cyber security threats.
Educate Users on Phishing Attacks
As you consider taking additional measures to increase your small business’s cyber security, you should share that information with your users. Tell your users to be especially vigilant with reminders about protecting themselves as they shop with you.
Cyber criminals are increasingly using convincing spoof websites to trick customers into sending money for many reasons. Realistic emails purporting to be from retailers or delivery companies informing victims of “a problem with their order” could embed a link from cyber criminals.
By keeping yourself and your staff informed of the potential risks and up to date with cyber threat trends, you’ll be better positioned to warn your customers against potential scams. Make sure it’s clear what your official correspondence will always look like. Manage customer’s expectations and explain when you may ask for personal information or payment. You can refer your customers here for helpful tips about avoiding falling for scams and advice to stop fraud.
Use Verified Sources
Referencing trusted sources is crucial for getting reliable information for you and your customers. Beyond the information in our small business cyber security checklist, resources are available to UK businesses to help combat cyber threats.
The National Cyber Security Centre set up an initiative to help UK organisations stay informed against cyber attacks. The Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) is a joint industry and government initiative set up to exchange cyber threat information in real time, in secure, confidential and dynamic environments. It aims to increase situational awareness and reduce the impact on UK businesses.
Find out how best to protect your small business with additional cyber security measures.