As a small business owner, there is a lot that you need to keep a handle on. Protecting your company against cybercrime is probably somewhere on that list, but how far up the list is it? After all, as a small business, you’re not a preferred target for hackers, so why worry?
Why You Should be Concerned
You might think that your business is not much of a target, but the statistics say otherwise.
- 43% of cybercrimes are aimed at small businesses.
- 60% of small businesses never recover from a breach and close within six months.
It’s not just cyber criminals that you need to be concerned about, though. 52% of data breaches are caused by system failure or employee error. If you’re interested in even more statistics about cybercrime, check out the infographic below.
Let’s examine cybercrime in greater detail.
How Cybercriminals Operate
As a small business, you are at risk from attack by cybercriminals. They don’t even need to put much effort in. If they somehow manage to get ransomware on your computer, which is easily done if someone clicks on the wrong link, they can shut you out of your own system.
You’ll then be instructed to pay in order to regain access. The fee will often be reasonable – maybe $500 or so. They’re not going to make a fortune, but they’re clever. They keep the fee relatively low because then it’s easier just to pay to regain access.
Of course, there are other tacks a hacker can take. They could:
- Install a program in the background: These are probably the most dangerous kind. You won’t even notice that they’re there. What they do, though, is to sniff out the sensitive data on your system, and even note user names and passwords. This is relayed to the hacker and they can do what they like with the information.
- Maliciously destroy your system: Not all hackers are motivated by money. Some just want to cause as much destruction as possible. Perhaps they’re doing it for the fun of it, maybe they’re a disgruntled ex-employee. There are many different reasons that malicious hackers have for their behavior.
How Do I Protect My Business Against These Attacks?
Installing good antivirus software is a good start. But how much protection do you need? In addition to the standard antivirus program, you also need to consider a program that will scour incoming communications as well.
The advantage of these programs is that they filter out suspicious messages and remove them before they get onto your servers. This means that no absent-minded employee will get a chance to open a dodgy email.
The next step is to ensure that all staff undergoes security awareness training. None of the other security measures are going to be worth much if your staff are careless about their passwords, or if their personal devices are not as well-protected as your servers.
This form of training teaches staff how to recognize potential threats, how essential good cybersecurity is, and best practices to ensure that they guard against a breach. They’ll learn a range of different tactics, from choosing strong passwords, through to always locking their computers when they step away from their desk.
The training should be repeated at least once a month so that the issue receives the attention it deserves. The staff could also then get into the hang of changing their passwords and brushing up on details of the latest attacks criminals might launch.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, it could be the victim of a cyber attack. With the tips that you’ll learn below, you’ll have a great head start in protecting your business.
Chris is a Computer geek, writer, and gamer. He is interested in any aspects of the PC industry and video games. Freelancer in his nature, he is willing to get experience and knowledge from around the world and implement them in his life.
Author // Chris Usatenko