It is easy to fall into the misguided idea that you currently have enough safeguards in position to protect your small business. You most likely stay current with the latest antivirus software, but is that adequate? You also probably believe that since you’re not really a huge corporation, you don’t have to worry about cyber criminals hacking into your system. But here’s the unlucky reality: cyber criminals have upped their game and are starting to target small businesses more and more. Let’s take a closer look to give you a better understanding of the level of danger your business may be under.
Small firms: low-hanging fruit
Unfortunately, small businesses make easy targets, so hackers are beginning to focus on them. Small firms are quick hacks and the criminals can make more hacks at a quicker rate. With increased chances, their likelihood of stealing useful information goes up considerably. As a small company, you may not think you have any valuable information, but in today’s world even the simplest information may be used to do harm to someone else. Credit card purchases are the most common targets of cyber criminals. Every time your system runs a transaction, it must validate the cardholder’s information. This information can contain card numbers, addresses, names, and more. Your clients don’t want this information stolen!
How hackers gain access to your data
How can they get this delicate data? Though you might be protected by software made to firewall your systems, hackers still have several points of entry. Email attachments are a serious offender, and openingjust one piece of malware can leave you exposed. Believe it or not, in the first quarter of this year alone, industry experts have detected over six million unique malware programs. Attackers don’t have to be sophisticated to be harmful: when attempting to breach your data security, some hackers take a low-tech procedure instead. They could contact your employees directly, and posing as a network administrator, ask for their password to boost security. This is known as “phishing.” While you may believe your workers know better than to fall for such an obvious tact, it only takes one lapse in judgment to leave your systems open to attack.
The buck stops with you
If you feel that preserving data security is not crucial, consider that should your systems be breached, your clients will likely hold you personally responsible for any stolen data or property. These kind of events cost companies thousands of dollars every year and can damage a company’s reputation so badly that they must close their doors permanently.
An ounce of prevention…
So, with regards to your data security, taking additional precautions is a prudent move. Not only should you update your programs whenever you can, take a look at strengthening your passwords as well. Don’t use obvious phrases, and never leave the default password in place. Also, instruct your employees not to share their login information or open attachments from unfamiliar senders when checking their email. You may also hire an outside consultant to guarantee the security of your customers’ data. Taking these types of measures can provide you with piece of mind, knowing that your systems are safe from attack.