Small Businesses Largely Targeted by Cyber Criminals

Just because you run a small business don’t think you’re safe from hackers. On the contrary, your company is more likely to come under attack because it is small. Most small businesses’ systems are easily infiltrated, so more and more, cyber criminals are opting to attack them instead of large enterprises.

Why are small businesses easier to infiltrate? They tend to have fewer safeguards in place than larger enterprises. Small-business owners erroneously believe that because they have fewer clients and therefore less data to compromise, they offer little enticement for cyber thieves. On the contrary, because cyber criminals can penetrate small businesses’ systems more easily, they will hit several small businesses in the same amount of time that it would take them to get past all the security measures of a large enterprise.

Email is still the most common form of communication used in business. Hackers know this and will use email to infiltrate a company’s system. They can do this via tainted attachments or hyperlinks. Other, bolder criminals will call or visit a business pretending to be network administrators or representatives from a security firm. Teach your employees how to recognize when someone is on a phishing expedition. One mistake could ruin your business and your reputation.

Data security is paramount to the success of your business. You are responsible for protecting your clients’ information. If their credit card information gets stolen because a hacker infiltrated your system, even if their credit card companies don’t make them pay for the fraudulent purchases, they will still blame you. Trust is one of the most valuable things you can get from your clients. Once that’s lost, it’s almost impossible to get back. In fact, some clients will never put their trust in you again. And they certainly won’t be referring any of their friends or colleagues to you. So, not only have you lost current business but also future business.

Besides making sure you install firewalls and update security software programs regularly, establish best practices for you and your employees to follow. Use complicated passwords that use numbers, symbols and capital letters. This makes them tougher to guess. Complicated passwords are also tougher to remember, so keep them written down in a small notebook that it’s store away from the computer. Change login passwords about once a month. Also, teach your employees how to recognize suspicious emails. To make it easier for people to remember to follow these best practices, you could post them in the break room and above copiers and fax machines. When it comes to recognizing suspicious callers or visitors, you could run regular drills. You could make them fun by offering a prize to the person who “catches” the most suspicious visitors. Or you could divide your employees into teams, depending on how many you have. Gift cards or branded merchandise could be offered as prizes.

You really can’t take too many precautions when it comes to protecting your company data. Your clients rely on you to keep them protected from cyber criminals, too, so anything you do to protect your business also protects your clients.

Looking for a trusted IT security firm to help you protect your business information and data?  Call us today.