It is commonly held that cyber attackers do not and will not waste their time hacking small businesses. Unfortunately, that idea is dangerously wrong. The truth is, just because a business is small does not mean that its information is less valuable to these attackers. Per the National Cyber Security Alliance, one in five small businesses falls victim to cybercrime each year and that number is GROWING. These small businesses are considered the low-hanging fruit because they have very loose or no security systems and protocols in place. Forbes goes as far as saying half of all cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses. Wow! The trend toward smaller businesses will worsen as larger businesses further tighten security.
This begs the question, what are you doing to ensure that you have comprehensive user security measures in place to protect your business? Ultimately, we all want to make sure we don’t lose everything we’ve worked so hard to achieve…. especially when it CAN be prevented! But how? Here are some helpful tips that will be beneficial to you in protecting your business team from cyber criminals:
- Educate the team. The number one security challenge to ANY business is its employees. Almost all security breaches in business are due to an employee clicking, downloading, or opening a file that’s infected with malware. By educating the team on how to spot an infected e-mail or online scam, you can help protect your business from cyber threats.
- Require strong passwords and passcodes. Passwords should be at least 8 characters and contain lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and at least one number.
- Keep your network and devices patched and up-to-date. New vulnerabilities are frequently found in common business software programs, so it is critical to patch and update your systems and applications when such patches and updates become available.
- Have an excellent backup. Referencing our previous blog on protecting your business from the WannaCry (and similar) attacks, you will see that hackers can lock up your files and hold them ransom until you pay a fee. If your files are properly backed up, you don’t have to pay a hacker to get them back. Backups can mitigate the most aggressive (and new) ransomware attacks as well as other malware incursions. A good backup will also protect you from any accidentally (or intentionally!) deleted or overwritten files.
There you have it folks. With 82,000 NEW Malware threats being released PER DAY (PC World), a simple firewall and antivirus is just not enough. If you are concerned about the dangers of cybercriminals gaining access to your network, give us a call and we can talk about how to implement a managed security plan for your business.