Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking that they’re too small to be on a hacker’s radar.
And they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, according to Symantec, cyberattacks on small businesses rose 300 percent in 2012 over the previous year.
Why are small businesses so attractive?
While attacks on the big guys like Target and Home Depot will never stop attracting attackers, small businesses offer a few advantages:
Weaker security: Because they don’t think they’ll be a target, small businesses might have weaker security on their internal networks, external communications, and web presence.
Business in the cloud: As business gets more mobile, small businesses are moving their files and documents to the cloud. If you choose a cloud service provider based on price alone, you could end up with a service that doesn’t use strong encryption technology.
Uneducated employees: Many small business haven’t spent the time to educate their employees about safe online practices, from email to social media to web browsing.
To avoid becoming a target, what can you do to protect yourself?
Increase your security.
Your small business and its data should have the tightest security you can get. Data moving around should be encrypted, and it should be difficult to get to that data. The number of employees with access to sensitive data should be limited. If using the data is not part of an employee’s job function, they don’t need to access it.
Stay up to date.
Keep all software and hardware up to date. As we’ve discussed in the past, antivirus software can’t work properly if your subscription lapses. That subscription means newly discovered viruses will be added to your antivirus software so your computers and network are protected.
Other software like operating systems and day-to-day business programs should also be updated when updates become available. Software developers issue patches when security holes are found. Ignore an update and your software could be vulnerable. Hackers are looking for the easy way in; don’t give it to them.
Educate your employees.
Take the time to talk to your employees about safe online practices. PNSolutions can help you educate your staff about:
- Email: Help them learn how to identify spam and phishing emails – and what to do about it
- Careful Internet browsing
- Safe social media use (See our tips for Facebook and Twitter)
- Preventing identity theft
- Using public WiFi networks
- How to create strong passwords
From educating your employees to making sure your business is secure, PNSolutions can help! We can even help you recover from an attack. Contact us today!