18 Online Security Resources for Small Firms

Lately, cybersecurity firm FireEye announced a partnership with Visa to develop products and services for merchants, in addition to card issuers, to detect and respond to attacks. The statement underscores how cybersecurity affects online trade at all levels, small companies and large.

Here’s a list of internet security tools for small businesses. There are news sites to remain current on cybersecurity, online sites from safety specialists, topic and coverage indicators to help companies find security advice, social media security tools, national security tools, and a threat-intelligence exchange. All these tools are free.

This listing is a followup to my latest post, “25 Online Security Tools for Small Businesses.”

Security Resources for Small Firms

Open Threat Exchange. Open Threat Exchange is a crowd-sourced threat intelligence exchange and evaluation network, hosted by AlienVault, to place effective security measures within the range of all organizations. Stay current on the latest threats, access free tools, and collaborate with your peers. Utilize an interactive map which consolidates the most recent threat data in real time. Dig into the historical activity of malicious IPs and see how to defend yourself.

Open Threat Exchange.

FireEye Blogs. FireEye, a top cybersecurity company, provides multiple sites about internet safety. FireEye’s Threat Research Blog is a technical discussion on hazard research, cyber attacks, and threat intelligence issues from the FireEye Labs team. FireEye’s Executive Perspectives Blog covers the most recent news and trends in cyber threats and cybersecurity, focusing on the impact to business.

Securezoo. Securezoo’s mission is to simplify and improve data security by providing trusted security advice, goods, and information to small and midsize businesses. It provides and index of Safety Topics, with simple to comprehend terminology, and overviews of policies to implement. Securezoo also offers an indicator of industry standards with pertinent details. Securezoo also provides a free Small Business Security Assessment to evaluate to your vulnerabilities.

Krebs on Security. Krebs on Security is a comprehensive safety news and evaluation blog. Brian Krebs was employed as a reporter for The Washington Post from 1995 to 2009, authoring over 1,300 blog posts for the Security Fix blog, in addition to countless stories for washingtonpost.com and The Washington Post newspaper.

Krebs on Security.

Naked Security from Sophos. Naked Security is Sophos’s award-winning threat newsroom, providing you with information, opinion, advice and research on computer security problems and the most recent internet threats. Additionally, it has links to free security tools, including firewall, virus removal tool, antivirus tool and mobile safety.

Google Online Security Blog. Google Online Security Blog provides the latest news and insights from Google on safety and security Online. The blog offers practical methods for online security in addition to relevant information about the inner-workings of internet security and malicious attacks. Recent posts include password security tips, security risks of undesirable advertising injectors, and an investigation of a JavaScript-based DDoS attack.

Security Weekly. The Security Weekly blog offers free content within the topic matter of IT security news, vulnerabilities, hacking, and study. Find a complete archive of all the shows (sound, video, show notes, interviews and technical posts ) from the Technical Wiki Archive.

Security Weekly.

Threatpost. Threatpost, The Kaspersky Lab security news agency, is an independent news website covering IT and business security. Threatpost creates content, such as news updates, videos, feature reports and much more. Threatpost editor Dennis Fisher also authors the Digital Underground blog, covering malware attacks and cybercrime for Threatpost readers.

Graham Cluley. Graham Cluley’s site is an award-winning resource for computer security news, ideas and opinion. Graham Cluley has worked as a developer, writing the first ever version of Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, in addition to fulfilling senior rolls at Sophos and McAfee. Receive a free email newsletter containing all of the latest security-related stories, hints and tips published on the site.

Schneier on Security. This is the site of security guru Bruce Schneider, a fellow in the Beckman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and the Chief Technology Officer in Resilient Systems. The website also offers Crypto-Gram, a free monthly email digest of posts. The site and newsletter are read by over 250,000 people. Recent post include”We Encrypt” and”History of the First Crypto War.”

Schneier on Security.

WhiteHat Security Blog. This site is from WhiteHat Sentinel, an enterprise application security platform which approaches website security through the eyes of the attacker. The website features #HackerKast, a weekly movie show on internet security.

Facebook Security. Facebook Security provides advice to protect your data both off and on Facebook. Like the Page to get updates of Facebook security. In a recent post, small companies can find out more about the advanced security settings available, in addition to Facebook Security Basics.

SANS. The SANS Institute provides training to learn the technical steps required for protecting systems and networks. SANS offers a variety of sites, such as Computer Forensics Blog, Security Awareness Blog, Cloud Security Blog, and Penetration Testing Blog. Its Reading Room is a group of information security research documents and whitepapers on data security, from firewalls to intrusion detection.


PCI Security Standards Council. The PCI Security Standards Council provides merchants with training and education on protecting payment card information with the PCI Security Standards. The website features many different resources for smaller merchants, including a set of training videos and a best-practices guide.

Twitter Security. This is Twitter’s security section of its Support Center to control your Twitter expertise. The website features information on understanding your preferences, controlling your expertise, managing issues online, and other topics and tools. Learn how to protect your private information, deal with internet misuse, and adopt best practices for an perfect Twitter experience.

The New School of Information Security. This site is inspired by the book of the same title, The New School of Information Security, by Adam Shostack and Andrew Stewart. Its mission it to learn from other professions (such as psychology and economics ) to unlock issues in data security, share analysis and data broadly, and adopt the scientific process to solve problems in data security.

The New School of Information Security.

FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner. FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner is an online source to help small businesses create customized cybersecurity plans. Create and save a customized cyber security program for your organization, selecting from a menu of specialist advice to deal with your particular business needs and concerns. The website also provides a Cybersecurity Tip Sheet.

US-CERT. United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) works to enhance the Nation’s cybersecurity, organize cyber data sharing, and handle cyber risks. Get practical advice, alerts and tips to better protect your small-business network. Explore additional tools, such as related safety organizations, tools, and guidelines.

‘California Consumer Privacy Act’ Impacts Ecommerce Firms

The California Consumer Privacy Act raises the bar for privacy protection in America. The act serves up penalties for companies that fail to comply or that incur a data breach.

Passed and amended in 2018, the CCPA takes effect on January 1, 2020.

The law was known as”GDPR lite” because of its similarities to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. While it doesn’t go so far as the GDPR in some places and is less complicated, the CCPA does provide relatively comprehensive definitions in different locations, like expanding the GDPR notion of the right to delete information.

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The law was known as”GDPR lite” because of its similarities to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The CCPA is a substantial step toward protecting consumer information, including the private information most every ecommerce provider collects.

Beyond California

An ecommerce business doesn’t need to be found in California to be subject to the CCPA. Rather, the legislation covers California residents even if they purchase online. Thus, an ecommerce store based in Michigan would still be subject to the CCPA if it offered goods to a shopper living in California.

You will find comparable precedents in both the GDPR and in U.S. online sales taxes. In the case of the former, even U.S.-based sites have to comply with the GDPR for E.U. residents. And at the latter, a Wisconsin-based omnichannel merchant, as an instance, may still must collect sales tax for the state of California when a California resident purchases online.

So it is not surprising that an ecommerce company that sells to California residents is subject to some California laws.


The CCPA sets thresholds to protect small and midsize businesses. A company is only subject to the CCPA if It’s for-profit and if it matches at least one of the following three thresholds:

  • Annual earnings above $25 million,
  • Handles”the private information of 50,000 or more customers, households, or apparatus,”
  • “Derives 50 percent or more of its yearly revenue from selling customers’ personal information.”

The thresholds function to exempt many ecommerce companies. Most don’t derive half or more of the revenue from selling shoppers’ personal information. Likewise, many ecommerce companies have less than $25 million in annual sales.

The threshold which may impact ecommerce businesses most often is your 50,000-consumer rule. This could apply to each site visitor, irrespective of whether he made a purchase. And the amount, 50,000, translates into an average of just 137 unique visitors each day. An ecommerce firm with vigorous pay-per-click advertising campaigns could easily drive more than 137 daily unique visitors.

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Privacy Rights

The”Californians for Consumer Privacy” site makes salient points concerning the purpose of the CCPA.

  • California’s customers own and control their personal information.
  • Firms are responsible for protecting personal information.
  • Large businesses are accountable (may pay penalties ) for failure to protect private information.

These theories lead to five personal information rights. Especially, a California resident has a right to:

  • Access their personal information,
  • Have personal information deleted,
  • Know what personal information a company has accumulated or marketed,
  • Opt-out or opt-in, and not be emptied after picking out,
  • Not having their personal information revealed.

Each of those rights may require businesses, including ecommerce companies, to alter or adapt notifications, reporting, and answers.

GDPR Precedent

Complying with the CCPA might be relatively easy due to the GDPR. When there are differences in definitions and requirements, companies that have worked to obey the GDPR ought to be well-positioned to follow the CCPA.

By way of instance, an ecommerce company that has established the means for receiving and responding to complaints under the GDPR might just have to make minor changes for the CCPA. Likewise, these companies should have policies to report the personal data collected in compliance with the GDPR. While the CCPA has a wider definition of personal information compared to GDPR, the procedure for reporting is comparable.

Even ecommerce companies which did not need to abide by this GDPR will benefit from related software tools and services because lots of these services and tools can be readily adapted to the CCPA.

Ecommerce companies should take some opportunity to ascertain whether the CCPA applies. In that case, do further research. Learn what the CCPA requires.

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The Biggest Mistake Small Firms Make on Credit Card Processing

At Bindo we Speak to merchants on a daily basis regarding credit card processing.

We see all kinds of companies processing credit cards with a range of credit card processors.   Though these merchants generally have a strong handle on their business operations, many of them Don’t know the actual rate They’re paying on credit card transactions.   If you ask them, they will respond with a number, but that amount is often a huge misrepresentation of the real speed (aka effective rate).   Because of the disconnect merchants will often stay faithful to a particular credit card processor, and lose out on a meaningful savings opportunity.

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Why do merchants make this error?

1. ) Processors like to market the”Qualified Rate”: If you search for credit card processing rates on the internet, you will see a wide range of rates cited.   Obviously the lowest prices will catch your attention initially, but those super low prices are not representative of the actual rate you will payoff. Oftentimes that advertised rate is less than Visa and MasterCard’s lowest credit card interchange rate, which is a baseline for your credit card processor’s cost on a transaction.   In other words, the speed that is advertised is significantly less than the chip’s cost.   How can a processor provide a rate that is below their cost? They can do this because that rate will apply on a very small portion of cards that you take in your company (“Qualified” cards only).   Any credit card which has a rewards or miles program attached to it Isn’t qualified.   Processors will charge higher rates on cards which are considered”Mid-Qualified” or”Non-Qualified” and easily recoup losses in the extremely low rate which applies on Qualified cards.

Merchants will frequently be under the belief that their speed on all cards is the very low one the chip advertised initially.   This isn’t right and merchants should look carefully at their processing bills to discover the true rate that they’re paying.

2. ) Snail mail rather than Documents: Your credit card chip probably does not need you to examine your credit card processing invoice.   If you examine your statement you may realize that you’re paying a much higher speed than you thought, or you might find you are paying extra charges each month that you were not previously aware of.   Processors make a barrier to assessing these statements by sending them in the mail on multiple sheets of paper with hundreds of lines.   Some may send announcements as PDFs, but You Won’t find chips that make statements available in a spreadsheet format.   On credit card processing statements you will see a line for each class of credit card which you took during the month, a corresponding speed, and a fee.   You’ll see numerous sections with various fees recorded, and somewhere on there you will get the total fees charged, but it likely won’t be recorded near to where the complete volume processed is recorded.

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Processors make it hard to examine your credit card processing statement because in case you don’t examine your statement you won’t understand the rates that you are actually paying.

3. Extra fees and other fine print: There are often additional fees recorded in the fine print of your credit card processing arrangement which will appear on your monthly invoice.   These fees can make it so that your effective rate is much higher than the speed you think You’re paying.   Frequent fees which appear on statements are”Monthly Statement Fee”,”Monthly Minimum”,”PCI Compliance Fee”,”Chargeback Fee” and much more.

An Example:

  • Merchant signs up for processing using an advertised speed 1.5%.
  • Merchant processes $10,000 in credit cards in 1 month.
  • 10% of those cards are eligible for the professional speed of 1.5%, whereas 60 percent are processed in a Mid-Qualified rate of 2.75%, and 30 percent are processed in a Non-Qualified rate of 3.25%.
  • Merchant is billed $15 (Qualified) + $165 (Mid-Qualified) + $97.5 (Non-Qualified) = $277.50
  • Merchant is charged a $10.00 statement fee
  • Total charges on the merchant announcement are: $287.50
  • Actual speed merchant is paying is 2.875%

Until the merchant in this example looks closely in their processing announcement, they may be under the impression that the rate they’re paying to accept credit cards is 1.5%.

What should you do?

If you are an existing business owner take a good look at your credit card processing invoice and if you are uncomfortable with crunching the numbers send it to someone who is.

If you are a new company and you do not have a statement to work with be careful and don’t sign any long term contracts.   Do your best to find a chip that offers a fair rate.   It is ok if you work with a chip whose prices are high as long as you have the ability to change chips.   Take a good look at your initial statement and be certain it lines up with your expectations.

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New Remote Work Skills Small Firms Should Be Developing

Your company operates differently than it did pre-COVID-19. The job of customer service today requires a specific level of tech-savvy. An internet storefront and marketing approach takes a different skill set than a brick-and-mortar company typically needs. And online payments and remote device security are probably new concerns you were not considering before.

This means your remote workers will need to work differently. But just what does this look like? And what new skills are needed today?

We surveyed* 577 small business leaders inquiring about the distant work skills they anticipate needing the maximum over the next six months. Below is a look at the top 5.

Two electronic skills stood out to me as the most universal challenges companies are facing now that we are working from home: cybersecurity in 23% and social networking advertising at 29%.

For more insight on these new abilities needed I asked dozens of small business leaders to tell me their distant worker stories. In this column I’ll highlight the challenges and solutions small business leaders have shared with me. Hopefully you find some inspiration and insight to your digital acceleration.

Fend off new types of cyberattacks with cybersecurity vigilance

In our survey, of the companies that did implement remote work since the onset of the pandemic, 31% report security threats as their principal concern for remote workers.


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CEO and founder of GetVoIP

GetVoIP is a cloud communication adviser helping companies make informed decisions about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems.

CEO of GetVoIP, Reuben Yonatan shares,”The hardest part has been figuring out a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. That includes everything from best practices to a tech update. We quickly realized that with no cybersecurity solution that takes into account the security vulnerabilities posed by a distributed group, the odds of data breaches was large.”

A data breach costs a company approximately $8.19 million in america . But when we asked small business leaders what IT security applications they have added in the last 3 weeks, a surprising 11% reported none. Though your remote team is the first line of defense against security threats, every employee has to be armed with cybersecurity abilities to secure your newly remote firm.

What you can do today:

  • Provide workers with endpoint security applications and be sure it’s installed on the device(s) they really use for work.
  • Instruct employees on password best practices and how to secure their house Wi-Fi networks.
  • Share IT security hints like how to find phishing emails and reminders to update passwords and make them complicated often and regularly with your staff.
Start your cybersecurity program search here with top-rated products and check out thousands of customer testimonials.

Put hesitant customers at ease with virtual meeting etiquette

Company is changing–and so is how you meet, greet, and interact with customers.

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John Pinedo

Co-founder of Instinct Marketing

Instinct Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency, dedicated to giving the best results for each client.

John Pinedo, co-founder of digital advertising agency Instinct Marketing shares,”The new normal does not allow us to network like we used to. Before COVID-19, my business partner and I would go to networking events in our town and would reserve discovery calls with small companies. Now that California is on lockdown (again), it has been hard to get qualified prospects through our sales funnel and expand our clientele.”

John sees that it has been tough for some business owners to get used to internet conferencing tools and occasionally even email–many are not accustomed to their recently remote job. His group works with leaders that are just more accustomed to the old ways of communicating and struggle to take the new remote work experience. He states,”We see the immunity weekly.” More business owners are falling out of paid media classes every week because they can not stand the new standard of virtual meetings.

Like cybersecurity, your staff is the first and best source to help clients become familiar with virtual meetings and communication entirely online with you. Soft skills are evolving to fulfill the requirements of the remote environment, but at the core it is still all about taking an warm and inviting approach.

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What you can do today

  • Encourage your remote working group to empathize with customers, responding to virtual awkwardness like lagging with a light-hearted and warm approach.
  • Train every remote employee about the best way to troubleshoot common technical problems, like checking and changing the sound settings.
  • Provide workers with templated directions to give to customers about the best way best to combine virtual meetings and include a telephone number they could call if they need assistance.
From network security to anti-spam security, you can begin your search for new cybersecurity software here. We have got thousands of consumer reviews and a useful Network Security Buyer’s Guide so you can make an educated decision.

Embrace new technologies to handle new challenges

All of us know that content, for example late night tv shows and music videos, is looking quite different in the era of social distancing. And that is ok. Embrace change within your company and recognize the technology and tools your staff has been using might not be the most apt for now.

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Cristina Maria

Marketing executive in Commusoft

Commusoft is an award-winning supplier of job management software for field service companies around the world.

Cristina Maria, marketing executive in Commusoft, stocks that before the pandemic lockdown her firm had spent significantly in movie production tools, both for advertising purposes and for customer services. After the team realized they would not have access to the studio and equipment setting at the office, they needed to think of a new approach to produce social media content.

“The solution we found was, actually, Skype instead of Zoom as a result of its useful plugin named eCamm. This made it very simple for our videographer to capture multiple streams of video in exactly the exact same time and keep producing our web collection, Success in the area .” When viewing the series, you can see it is working out well.

“It is a testament to how tech has gotten so we can still create it without being in the exact same physical place or even having the ideal hardware.”

What you can do today

  • Do not force it when it comes to using existing hardware and tools –demands have changed in this age of distant work and so have the tools that best serve them.
  • Encourage your teams to get creative in order that they can continue to provide solutions, participation, and create sales while working remotely.
  • Be flexible in your expectations of what advertising content resembles: the new format may prove even better than what was planned.
Check out live streaming video program user testimonials and a Buyer’s Guide to help you begin on your solution search.

Upskill with peer reviewed training and cross training which promotes remote collaboration

Sometimes, the skills one worker should develop are a part of another employee’s or team’s experience. Switch to your team to market growth from within.

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Bradley Steven

CEO in LLC Formations

LLC Formations’ only focus is making company ownership simple for everybody by giving the insights, how-to’s, and support for every step of the business formation procedure.

In LLC Formations, CEO Bradley Stevens has concentrated on upskilling his staff so as to find the new skills required. This approach not only avoids furloughs or lay offs, but also strengthens the team’s commitment to the firm. He shares that his teams”are learning new skills on the internet to help in different areas of business. Our employees whose sections are down temporarily and learning new skills are already knowledgeable about the work environment.”

Investing in your company and your team at precisely the exact same time with upskilling and training is a win-win and should be your first approach to filling the skills gap created from the distant work environment. You will probably be surprised by how prepared your staff is to learn about different areas of the business, help each other learn, and show their new skillset.

What you can do today

  • Supply continuing training to help your staff meet new challenges in their work in a sustainable and productive way.
  • Schedule peer-to-peer learning sessions, like a”Lunch & Learn.” This approach not only provides cost-effective cross-training but also relationship building throughout the company.
  • Invest in a learning management software tool so employees can access training in the times in the work day that works best for them.
Searching for training applications to help upskill your staff? Take a look at our list of the Top 20 goods, read our Buyer’s Guide, and read tens of thousands of user reviews.

Together we will continue to learn and grow within this tumultuous time

As your ally in electronic pivots and virtual-based company plans, we hope you found this informative article informative. Prior to going, here is a review of the key takeaways plus a recommended reading list that will assist you keep building a successful remote workforce.

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