March 20, 2023

Micro-business owners typically wear multiple hats. Salesperson, account manager, customer service agent, and more are often the responsibility of a single person. While this might allow businesses to keep costs down, it could also leave them vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Bad actors target businesses of all sizes, but those with limited resources to invest in IT staff or security upgrades are perfect targets. Once a hacker gains access to confidential data, they can harm not only the business but the owner’s reputation, credit, and finances.

Fortunately, micro-business owners can use these powerful tips to protect their company and customer information from cyberthieves.

Add multi-factor authentication to online accounts. A strong password that includes various letters, numbers, and symbols is the first line of defense against hackers. Multi-factor authentication is the second. The additional layer of security can prevent crooks from accessing your account even if they figure out your password.

How it works: If the correct username and password is entered on the account login page, an email or text message that includes a one-time passcode is sent to the account owner. This code must be entered on the login page before access to the account is granted. Get multi-factor authentication for your HawaiiUSA Business Digital Banking.


Buy cyber insurance coverage. In addition to general liability and professional liability policies, micro-businesses should consider adding cyber insurance to their operational expenses. The annual expense is a small compared to the costs of recovering from a ransomware attack.

How it works: A cybersecurity insurance policy could pay the ransom, attorney’s fees, and credit monitoring fees you may need to offer to customers affected by a ransomware attack This type of cyber threat can make its way onto your system when you click on a fraudulent link in an email or a website. It takes only one click to download a virus that encrypts your computer files and prevents you from accessing them until a ransom is paid for the decryption key.


Schedule a cybersecurity audit. While you don’t need to hire full-time staff to monitor your computer systems, paying for an annual IT security audit might be worth the expense. Companies that offer these services test your systems and recommend policies tailored to your needs.

How it works: A company or individual reviews your computer systems, operational policies, and daily practices to detect areas that let hackers access your data with little effort. The audit typically concludes with detailed recommendations to strengthen weak links in processes and procedures, both online and off.


Perform software updates. It’s easy to miss software system updates when you’re busy running a business, but automating antivirus software and firewall updates is one of the least expensive and fastest ways to thwart attempts to access your system.

How it works: To automate updates and ensure you always have the latest version of your antivirus software and firewall, follow manufacturer instructions. Effective antivirus software identifies potential viruses in emails before you click on them and infect computer systems. The software can alert you to threats and automatically remove them. Firewalls can keep unwanted internet traffic from accessing your computer network.


Monitor your financial accounts. Reviewing financial account activity too infrequently gives cybercrooks more time to harm your business. For instance, waiting for paper or digital account statements to arrive gives fraudsters more time to empty your accounts.

How it works: Follow digital banking security best practices, which include frequent account reviews for unauthorized activity and immediately reporting anything suspicious to your financial institution. The sooner you discover and report such activity, the less damage thieves can do to your finances.


Make monitoring transactions easy by signing up for Digital Banking Alerts. Once enrolled, you’ll receive text, email, or push notifications of deposits and withdrawals from your account.


Visit HawaiiUSA’ s Security Center for more steps you can take to keep your account safe.