You’re a small business. It may be easy to make the assumption that you are less of a target than much bigger companies.
“I’m too small to be a target!”
Hackers often use automated exploit tools and delivery them on a mass scale. The unfortunate scenario is that most small businesses are less prepared to deal with these attacks, which simply leaves them more exposed than larger businesses that have dedicated technology experts on staff.
The “I’m too small” mentality
In a recent survey by Towergate, a U.K. based insurance company, 82 percent of small business owners believe they are safe from hackers and cyber-crime because they didn’t have anything worth stealing.
22 percent of those same small business owners believed that they simply “don’t know where to start” with improving their IT and cyber security profile.
We specialize in helping Small Businesses protect themselves and their data.
Easier Targets & Supply Chain
The smaller the business, the less likely they will have the resources to design and implement a strong and secure business network. Often very small businesses started from the home and slowly evolved, often using the same residential computers, software and equipment they started with.
While this makes sense from a cost saving perspective, an investment in computer systems and security is now considered a business essential. Failing to do some can cause actual harm to your clients and contacts or irreparable harm to your reputation.
One often neglected area of concern is looking at your customers. Do you deliver them with critical parts of their business? If you were to be hacked, would it be detrimental to the companies you work with?
One example recently is Target, the large retailer. Data thieves hacked a heating and cooling contractor – which in turn gave them access to Target’s systems and caused one of the largest breaches in the past few years (over 70 million customer records stolen).
Do you think Target kept them as a contractor after that fiasco?
How does a small business protect themselves?
The truth is a handful of things that can be done that reduce your risk profile immensely and that by implementing these programs and systems you can limit your exposure. No one can promise you won’t get a virus or that you will never get hacked. All you can do is follow best practices and put in the systems in place to deal with any issues as they arise.
Some of the most important factors for protecting yourself are simple and common sense. Here is our list of the most basic ways to help protect your small business from hackers.
1 – Install a quality antivirus and firewall software and make sure it is maintained and monitored.
2 – Install a good Hardware Firewall / Router for your business.
3 – Keep your operating systems and software updated and patched pro-actively.
4 – Use a modern e-mail service provider that includes an e-mail filtering system.
5 – Educate your staff on Internet and Email safety
6 – Have a quality system put in place to backup your critical information and data.