Running a small business is an accomplishment not everyone can do. There’s a lot of hard work involved such as bookkeeping, customer service, and marketing. But what about your Network Security? If you don’t think it can happen to you, it most certainly can! Cyber attacks can strike any size of business big or small. For instance, the San Diego Unified School District in December 2018 had personal data stolen from over a half-million students and staff. The breached data included phone numbers, birth dates, Social Security numbers, names, mailing addresses, legal notices and health information.
58% of data breaches target small businesses(2), that is a scary fact to think about. The general consensus is that data breaches only happen to the big companies. There is an alarming trend of underutilization of IT services in the small business sector. Or in some cases, they don’t have an IT department to keep watch over their cyber security. The Better Business Bureau recently released sobering information about small business and cyber crime. According to the BBB, small businesses on average lose around $80,000 a year due to cybercrime.
The tide is slowly turning in this war against hackers though, officials in New York City are looking at ways to help small businesses fight back. Still, more needs to be done overall to educate and help small businesses with cyber security. Too many business owners don’t think it’s important enough to implement. The other prevailing deterrent for small business owners is the price.
The importance is real though, as one in five business owners shutter their doors due to cyber crime, and that number is growing on a monthly basis. Many owners simply don’t report their breaches to law enforcement due to shame or embarrassment. Some of the owners data that gets breached include intellectual properties that could get into the hands of unscrupulous people including competitors looking to get an edge. There are many knock-off products and technologies (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) that are sold in China. Some of these “clones” were due to stolen data by hackers who sell these trade secrets for the highest dollar.
The conundrum the small business owner faces is simply, what to do about this threat? How can the average small business owner make their security better? What can the average owner do on a base level to protect themselves from people looking to break into their systems? What can be done about websites and the integrity and security of them? This is especially true for businesses who are engaged in ecommerce. Credit card numbers as well as banking information can be compromised by a savvy hacker on a website that’s not properly protected.
So, as you can see there is a lot of information small business owners must consider when contemplating the security of their own business. When closing up for the day, they make sure to lock doors and windows, even setting an alarm when they leave the premises. Why not be as diligent with their network security as well? Business owners need to investigate and do their due diligence on potential cyber security companies that can protect them and their interests. The tenements of a quality security company would be protection against attacks to the network such as ransomware, malware, viruses, keyloggers, phishing, and hackers. They should also protect against website attacks such as DDoS and website takeovers. Having real-time monitoring of the network is also a big plus when considering who to use for these services. Download a cyber security checklist of the key things you should monitor and consider seeking advice from a managed IT services provider if you need help.