Considering the growing number of security breaches in the news these days, a letter written last October by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) seems all the more relevant.
In the letter, CEO and Superintendent of Financial Services Brian Mills reminded businesses regulated by the FSCO of their duty to provide a “safe online environment” for their customers.
Mills went on to explain what a cyber attack is and encouraged companies to examine their current cyber security protocols and take steps to improve them if necessary.
Why? Because just one cyber attack can impact your bottom line and damage your reputation.
But if you think security breaches only happen to the big guys, think again.
Cyber attacks can happen to anyone. (Yes, even you.)
The colossal data breach at Equifax and the recent cyber attack on the financial services firm Deloitte may be the stories dominating the headlines lately, but security breaches like these can happen to smaller businesses just as easily—especially if those businesses lack the time and resources needed to keep their cyber security tactics up to date.
So what can you do to prevent a cyber attack?
Two things are absolutely critical when it comes to cyber security.
The FSCO letter talks about two important facets of effective cyber security—both of which are worth repeating as modern businesses do their best to maintain a secure online presence amid ever-increasing online security threats.
What are they?
The first is prevention.
Preventative measures include making sure you have a solid system in place to safeguard consumer information from opportunistic cyber thieves.
In order to do that, the FSCO recommends establishing and maintaining a cyber security strategy tailored to your business and its particular risks.
As an example, in our blog “7 Ways to Help Ensure Your Payment System Doesn’t Get Hacked,” we talk about the importance of using a range of tiered security procedures and protocols to protect your payment system from falling victim to cybercriminals.
This includes using firewalls to stop attackers before they are able to breach your network and gain access to your data and other important information.
Extra layers of security can also include contact forms, login boxes and a list of search queries.
The second is constant monitoring.
Technology is continually evolving, and while that’s a good thing in terms of ease and convenience for you and your customers, it also brings the danger of more sophisticated hacks like the ones that targeted Equifax and Deloitte.
The FSCO recommends that businesses regularly review their cybersecurity policies and procedures.
This includes staying on top of new patches and implementing them immediately to fix vulnerabilities and re-establish security—something reports tell us Equifax failed to do.
Still, staying on top of cybersecurity can be time-consuming, and many small business owners are stretched thin already without having to worry about keeping an eye out for potential hackers.
This is likely the reason why the FSCO recommends using a professional technical service provider to employ and manage cybersecurity measures.
So how about now? Still feeling confident about your online security?
These days, it’s not just credit card numbers hackers are after—but usernames, passwords, IP addresses and other sensitive information that, if stolen, can permanently damage your reputation as a trustworthy business.
Keeping one step ahead of possible attacks means heightening your online security and staying vigilant—and we know how to help.
The security experts at MyWatchmen can help you choose the right payment platform for your business and ensure that you stay 100% compliant with industry standards.
We believe in providing end-to-end merchant protection so you can focus more on your business and less on things like security breaches.
Contact MyWatchmen today if you want to learn more about virtual security and protecting your merchant account from hackers, fraudsters and other cyber scoundrels.