Cybercriminals are after any size company that has access to people’s information.
Over the last few years, we have seen so many news about stolen data information from large enterprises and agencies such as Yahoo, LinkedIn, CIA, and Google. However, these are not the real victims of the cyber-attacks. According to the recently released 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, there have been more than 14 million breaches in small and medium businesses solely in the US. To put this into perspective, this is roughly about 50% of all the small and medium sized companies registered in the United States.
As an owner of a small or medium sized business, you have to wear many hats.
Sometimes you need to tackle a shipping problem, or may be an accounting error, an HR misunderstanding, or an IT issue. Very often budgets for IT security are overlooked for the sake of something that is considered “more important,” or it will bring an actual visible ROI. The fact that 50% of all US businesses have had a data breach in the last 12 months confirms the notion that small and medium sized companies are facing a real problem that will only grow bigger if it not addressed soon.
Sometimes, the reasoning behind not being protected is not only because of the lack of resources or budget but also because of pure ignorance. Business owners massively believe that ‘this will not happen to them.’ Every business owner chooses its path. However, one of the main issues is the fact that by being vulnerable, they are not only exposing their company secrets but the data of their customers. Finding an excuse for this one is hard!
The inside guy
More than 50% of the cyber crimes that happen within a company start from a person who is already in the enterprise. A recent example happened right under our noses in one of the stores of the largest wireless carrier in the US – Verizon Wireless. Store of big companies operate as small businesses. Some of the store managers were tied to identity theft ring. Yet another nail in the coffin of the dying mobile carrier. Luckily, the authorities managed to catch them on time, so they could not cause much damage. What is the takeaway? Do not give employees access to more information than they need.
Say NO to the easy passwords
Make sure your employees use strong passwords. We recommend requesting a password change from every employee at least once every three months. It is a common practice in the big corporations, and this is how it should be for small and medium-sized businesses too. Stronger passwords are harder to crack so very often hackers get discouraged and just move to another victim.
They do not want to waste their time into many tries – instead, they can find another business whose system is easier to crack. So briefly, change your already strong passwords onto even stronger ones. Staffs can use also a password manager that will allow them to avoid to use the same password all the time.
Use Cyber Security Software
Last but not least, there are tons of software companies who provide cyber security solutions for small and medium business. Some of them even include cybersecurity insurance as a bundled price. It may sound obvious to most, but you will be surprised by the amount of small and medium businesses who do not have any protection.
In this case, having something that does not give you an ROI is equally important as something that does bring you profit – antivirus software helps your business grow by keeping it safe and stable. A business without cyber security is similar to a country without defense budget – one way or another, one day they will regret not investing in their security.
The more you wait, the bigger the chance is to get hacked so don’t delay it and protect your business and your clients. By doing this, you are not only doing a favor to yourself, but to the customers who helped you get where you are now.