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With reports showing a spike in targeted attacks against small businesses, a trend that shows no sign of slowing, business owners need to take cybersecurity breaches seriously

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With reports showing a spike in targeted attacks against small businesses, a trend that shows no sign of slowing, business owners need to take cybersecurity breaches seriously.

Here are five ways small businesses can prepare themselves:

1. Proactively prepare for intrusion or breach. PCI Compliance standards need to be implemented at all times. Try to keep on top of industry trends in order to choose the best security solutions for the company. Keep an eye on third party providers and make sure their websites are secure: a breach on their end can compromise your own customers.

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2. Security awareness training. Make sure employees are aware of the threats out there and ensure everyone has basic security training. CEOs should implement a well-defined security policy that employees know to follow. This could mean no company data stored on personal devices and knowing never to divulge passwords.

3. Employee screening. Small business owners tend to trust the people that work for them, but many breaches are a direct result of authorized employees abusing their access within systems.

4. Back up critical data offline. Ransomware can lock a business out of its own computer system. Having an offline backup will eliminate the need to pay hackers in order to retrieve company data.

5. Invest smarter. If external risk assessment is financially feasible, it's worth the money to avoid spending unnecessarily on the wrong software.

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