Keys to Keeping Your Business Safe When Your Employees are Away on Summer Vacation

Empty Chair with Note From Employee

Nearly half of small businesses experienced at least one cyberattack last year, losing an average of over $30,000 per security incident. From phishing scams to delinquent utilities and office supply scams, fraudsters are trying to infiltrate your business for financial gain. Summer is a prime season for vulnerability, as your employees’ vacation time results in fewer resources to thwart these attacks. Plan ahead to defend your company against fraud.

Integrate Security Awareness Training for All New Hires

If you need to add staff to keep up with demand and stay flexible when your regular employees take time off, be diligent while onboarding new hires by including security training. Sixty percent of SMB data breaches are caused by employee negligence, which can result from a lack of proper security awareness and training.

Fraud can also slip through the cracks when one employee is left with too many responsibilities and not enough support from the team. For example, sensitive business documents or financial accounts often require an extra set of eyes, which can make a big difference around discovering fraud.  Regularly reviewing and monitoring activity for anything out of the ordinary will help enforce internal controls. Ultimately, you’ll want to separate duties so more than one person is held accountable and your operations can continue without a hitch when employees are out of the office.

Review and Refresh the Importance of Your Business’ Security

Ensure all employees are up to speed with your incident response plan by conducting security overviews and training more than once a year. Reduce your vulnerability to cyber threats and fraud through education and communication around appropriate online behavior and best practices to avoid common scams that target employees as a way to infiltrate your business.

Even with proper training, fraudsters can still compromise your business through third-party breaches involving your business’ or employee’s data. Big or small, how you handle the aftermath of any security incident matters. According to the Hiscox Small Business Cyber Risk Report, 65 percent of small businesses fail to act following a cybersecurity event. Don’t leave your business exposed; be sure to patch any discovered vulnerabilities to mitigate additional risk, and communicate all incidents to your employees to increase awareness across your organization.

Tips to Protect Your Small Business

  1. Test your cybersecurity knowledge. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) with training materials, including short quizzes, so you can check if your cybersecurity knowledge is up to par, and develop a game plan to fortify it if not.
  2. Practice your incident response plan. When a data breach occurs, it should not be the first time employees are going through your business’ Incident Response Plan. Keep your plan top of mind by reviewing it with key stakeholders regularly, so everyone is prepared to act when needed.
  3. Invest in protecting your employees, customers, and partners. Arm your business and your employees with an affordable Small Business Protection solution as an added layer of defense against mobile security threats and identity theft.
  4. For more tips on setting up your business for success before the summer months kick in, review our three-part series:

Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to get the latest breach and scam updates, ID protection news & tips from our industry experts!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

Donna is the Chief Marketing Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. She is responsible for global marketing initiatives...
Read more about Donna Parent.

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