Hardware Retailing

SEP 2016

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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This article was written by Hardware Retailing editors Kate Klein and Hilary Welter. Litchford: Currently 48 states, plus the District of Columbia, have different laws about how you have to notify your customers. Make sure you have general counsel there for advice on how to do that. HR: What are some best practices that a business owner should follow to protect data, prevent an attack and be prepared if one occurs? Embry: Make sure you have anti-virus software on the computers that operate your business. These might not even necessarily be associated with the payment process. Install and maintain firewalls within your system to prevent hackers from getting into data when it is either coming in or going out of your system. It's also always important to back up your systems so you aren't vulnerable from having all of your data in one place all the time. A lot of companies require employee passwords or PINs to be unique, change frequently and never be shared. Above all, training and awareness are probably most important. Train clerks to look for suspicious activity. Even while standing in your checkout lane, cybercriminals can be very good at shoulder surfing and gathering information. Being aware of your surroundings and what's going on can help a lot. I'd say it's critical to have a written data security policy. It should include your policy for password changes; how you change your password, how you share the data, how to store the data, what kind of firewall you have, when and where you back up the system. Litchford: My opinion is they should have relationships with either the FBI or the Secret Service. That would be at a local level. Those would be the two groups I would go after. Their job is to prevent cybercrime and help you recover from cybercrime. And the FBI has the added job of prosecuting them.

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