Cybersecurity Checklist for the Holiday Season

Topics: Cyber Liability

Summary: The busy holiday shopping season is here, and it's vital that small business owners have a cybersecurity plan in place to protect their organization from data breaches and other cyber attacks. We share small business cybersecurity tips to help retail operations stay safe this time of year. 

Holiday Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Even with recent inflationary challenges, the National Retail Federation is predicting holiday retail sales to grow between 6-8% over 2021 to reach between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. With the sheer volume of transactions set to take place for retail operations (both online and at brick-and-mortar stores), now is a good time for small business owners to ensure they have a well-defined cybersecurity plan in place. 

Small Business Cybersecurity Checklist 

holiday cybersecurity tips for small businesses

Here’s a handy checklist to consider when assessing your cybersecurity measures for the upcoming holiday shopping season:

Secure Your Employees

All employees should be trained on the importance and methods of data security. Both physical and digital records should be safeguarded at all times, and confidential information about clients, employees or corporate affairs should always remain secured. Hackers like to target uninformed employees, so in terms of personnel, keep in mind your security is only as strong as your weakest link. This time of year serves as a great opportunity to re-distribute your data security policies to employees to reinforce its importance.

Perform background checks on new employees hired for the holiday season. Additionally, ensure each employee only has access to data related to their role and responsibility, especially for seasonal employees.

Secure Your Network

Passwords: Creating a strong password creates a better defense against cyberattacks. Remember these tips for creating strong passwords:
  • Don’t use the same password twice and change passwords frequently.
  • Use a mix of characters including letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Avoid sharing passwords.
  • Don’t keep passwords written down near computers.
  • Utilize a password manager.
Wi-Fi: Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure by regularly changing its password. Also, do not allow your employees to use public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks while utilizing company-issued laptops and smartphones.

Secure Your Data

All data, whether on a personal device, computer, or server should be protected by proper encryption.

Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Systems

If a program acts up, it could simply be a software or hardware malfunction, but it could be something much worse. If malware is detected, or a user reports opening a suspicious file, don't take any chances. Assume that the malware has infected something, and don't stop investigating until you find out what, if anything, was breached. Keep anti-virus and anti-malware programs up-to-date.

let amtrust protect your small business banner

AmTrustCyber Helps Protects Your Small Business

A cyber liability insurance policy from AmTrustCyber can help safeguard your company against financial loss from a cyber attack. Contact an AmTrust agent today to find out how you can benefit from a policy, and how to protect your organization from cybersecurity attacks and other data breach threats.

This material is for informational purposes only, summarizes coverages and services that may be available in a policy, and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.Coverages may vary by location.Contact your local RSM for ore information.cyb

Time Zones