Nowadays, hackers can spy on and even destabilize a business with denial-of-service attacks viruses and several other kinds of malicious cyber actions. Large enterprises pour resources into ramping up their security networks to defend against the daily blitz of attacks. And while it doesn’t stop them from trying, hackers know bigger businesses are taking breaches seriously. Without the same resources as their larger counterparts, small businesses can be seen as weaker and easier prey for hackers.
Three reasons why small business is attractive to hackers
As more small businesses increasingly depend on the Internet to contact and communicate with clients and vendors, hackers are widening their target base to take advantage of them because many have insufficient or poor network security measures, such as:
1) Failure to back up data
About half of small businesses never back up their data. Without proper data backup and loose security measures, small businesses are at a greater risk of hacker attacks. As ransomware like Cryptolocker and malware attacks go high-tech, it is crucial for small businesses to have their data backed up regularly.
In every organization, the employees are the biggest assets. On the other hand, in the age of rapid technological advancement they can at times be the weakest link in the organization’s Internet computer security. They may not instigate attacks; however, it is often the employees who can unknowingly or knowingly provide an attacker access to the business’s data. It was an employee clicking on an email link that allowed an attack to recently steal over $1 billion dollars from a large bank.
3) No experience needed
Finding prey has become easier for hackers and cyber criminals because the tools they use have become inexpensive and simple to acquire. Moreover, these hacking tools have also become pretty user-friendly to the point that anyone, not just “real” hackers can launch them.
With negligible input from a user, a hacking application can instigate a chain of scripts to search thousands of IP addresses on the Web while planting a Trojan horse or spyware software on websites via weaknesses in technologies like Flash and Java.
Hackers can put a small business out of business
Reputation damage! A data breach is one the most detrimental things that can happen to a small business’s reputation. Customers cannot put their trust into a company if they feel their information isn’t safe or if in fact their confidential data has been compromised in a breach. Of course, a breach leads to loss of revenue and fewer sales for small businesses that don’t have the resources to perform damage control like the large corporations do.
Lawsuits! Identity theft and data breach lawsuits are very costly for small businesses, unlike for big businesses that have internal legal teams to counter any lawsuits. Data breaches can lead to class action lawsuits, where numerous plaintiffs combine suits into one larger lawsuit. The vast majority of small businesses cannot counter this effort and they often close down.
Three ways small businesses can protect their data from hackers and hacktivist groups
1) Protect every device
Regardless of the policy, use protected passwords and encryption on all devices that are in use for your business, from tablets and phones to desktops and laptops. Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
2) Practice proper digital sanitation and train your employees
Avoid using the same password on several accounts. Never click on unfamiliar links in your emails. Learn how to identify phishing threats. Ensure each of your employees knows this information and keep reminding them of it regularly.
3) Audit security practices and systems
Consult an IT firm with experienced security consultants familiar with small business network security to identify any threats or weaknesses in your company’s network and security practices. Network security is not a one-time expense because it needs to be assessed and updated regularly.
Working with Invision makes network security affordable for small business
The main advantage of outsourcing network security is the lower costs compared to hiring an employee or risking not managing security at all. Keeping up with technology, hackers and hacktivist groups is time-consuming.
Invision data security experts have the knowledge and expertise to considerably reduce your risk of a data breach. Securing your network is an essential expense and investment for any small business. Plus, by outsourcing your IT security, your small business benefits from the combined skills of a team of experts.