Just because your business is not a billion-dollar conglomerate does not mean you are immune from being targeted by hackers. On the contrary, hackers may see your small business as an easy target compared to a large one. With big business comes multiple firewalls and staff who monitor for breaches 24 hours a day. You are a much more appealing mark. So with your business in mind, here are some cyber security tips for small business.
What Does it Mean When Your Security is Breached?
In a security breach, it means that either you or your customer’s data has been compromised by a hacker or a dishonest employee with the intent to sell the data on the dark web or to blackmail the data’s owner with embarrassing or potentially ruinous information. Here are the three most frequent breaches and what you can do to avoid them.
Held for Ransom.
Ransomware has become the number one cause of security breaches in the last few years. This cyber security breach is disastrous because of how it works. Ransomware is insidious and can infect your system as easily when an email is opened by you or an employee (probably spam) and quickly infects your system because of an attachment. The ransomware then proceeds to upload itself to your system and to encrypt all your data so that you can’t get to any of it. Yet another way your system can be compromised is by a hole in your website’s security you can drive a truck through. It’s usually something easily fixable or unwise such as weak password like using “password” or 12345 for your password. Another common issue is not regularly applying updates to your website.
How do you know if there is ransomware on your hard drive? You can’t miss it. A ransom note will appear on your screen notifying you that the hackers have encrypted your data and want thousands of dollars to de-encrypt it. Directions on how to pay will be highlighted in the ransom note. So, how do you avoid ransomware? It’s as simple as finally upgrading your OS from Windows Vista. Old OS systems that do no longer get security updates are especially exposed to ransomware. A good firewall and antivirus software are musts. Train your employees and yourself not to open emails with attachments from unknown senders and to absolutely never open spam. Also, make sure you are applying security updates to your OS and antivirus software.
Antiquated Operating Systems.
It can’t be emphasized enough. An obsolete OS that doesn’t receive security updates is going to be hacked; it’s just a matter of time. You might think you are being frugal by saving a few dollars on software by using an old OS, but it’s not worth the risk. The expenses of your being hacked will outweigh any savings from using an outdated OS.
Unfortunately, it’s second nature to some. The temptation of stealing your customer’s data or your information and selling it on the dark web is just too great for some to resist. All it takes is a portable hard drive for one of your employees to pilfer your sensitive data. Cyber security can’t be more at risk than when a trusted employee goes bad. You can avoid this by screening potential employees before they are brought on board and then monitoring their activity.
Just a little diligence and common sense can go a long way in protecting your small business from cyber security breaches.
SJC Technology specializes in Managed IT Services. This is defined as the outsourcing of your day-to-day computer network management responsibilities as a method of improving business operations and cutting expenses. 239.324.9039