Electronic payment expert Dennis Simmons talked to The Dallas Morning News about how small-business owners should deal with a cyberattack. Simmons is the president and CEO of Dallas-based SWACHA, a not-for-profit electronic payments association.

Electronic payment expert Dennis Simmons talked to The Dallas Morning News about how small-business owners should deal with a cyberattack. Simmons is the president and CEO of Dallas-based SWACHA, a not-for-profit electronic payments association.

—Determine the damage: Immediately change all passwords and make them more sophisticated. Conduct a thorough analysis. Do not communicate the extent of the breach until it is confirmed. Correcting information after the fact can undermine a company’s reputation.

—Call in the pros: While local law-enforcement groups don’t always have the resources to investigate a hack, filing a police report is often necessary to collect insurance. If additional help is needed, the Secret Service investigates most breaches. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also has a cyber division.

—Eliminate the problem: Use firewall, anti-malware and anti-virus technology. Make sure computers are receiving automatic updates to fix bugs. Consider designating one computer for online banking only, meaning no Web surfing and no email that might expose you to malware designed for financial fraud.

—Prevent future attacks: Have a formal company internet policy that sets guidelines for acceptable online activities. Prohibit employees from opening email attachments or clicking on links that don’t pertain to company business. Also consider limiting personal email access to smartphones via the employee’s wireless connection, not the company Wi-Fi.

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