Here’s a surprising fact for October’s Cyber Security Month: small businesses are at a greater risk of a hacking attack. Many small organizations feel that they’re not a target for hackers due to their size, but this is what hackers want you to think so you’ll focus less on securing your network.
When it comes down to it, small businesses need to prioritize just as much in their cyber security as any large corporation. In fact, 71 percent of security breaches happen to small businesses. To understand this dynamic, here are three reasons from StaySafeOnline.org for why hackers prefer targeting small businesses.
Small Businesses Lack Proper Protection
One disadvantage small businesses have is that they lack the funds to do cyber security on the level where they can dedicate full-time staff to it. For many small businesses, instead of hiring someone who’s trained and equipped to handle the latest cyber threats, they’ll rely on their staff to not download anything malicious and hope that their antivirus solution is up to snuff (if they even have one). Of course, this security strategy relies on the average user actually being knowledgeable about security best practices, which is something that’s taught, not caught.
Small Businesses Have Valuable Data Too
One common mistake made by small businesses is that they assume their information isn’t valuable enough to warrant a hack attack. After all, it’s not like you’re dealing with millions of high-profile customers, right? In the eyes of a hacker, every small business has plenty of data that’s worth going after; files like your employee’s personal information can be extracted from your company’s payroll, along with the credit card numbers of your customers. This is just some of your data that hackers can sell on the black market for a sizable profit. Plus, if your company’s security solution isn’t adequate, then a hacker will go after your small company before a large corporation (this is known as the low-hanging fruit principle).
Small Businesses Are Susceptible to Phishing Attacks
Spear phishing attacks are when a hacker messages someone in a company while posing as someone else who is in a position of authority, or even as a legitimate institution like a bank, a charity, or your own IT department. The goal here is to trick the message’s recipient into divulging sensitive information to the scammer, like account information. It takes a keen eye to spot these messages, and having a quality firewall and spam solution in place will help keep them out of your company’s email inboxes.
In light of these cyber security threats to small businesses, what can you do in order to protect yourself? The first thing you can do is acknowledge that your company is a target. This will put your company well ahead of other small businesses that don’t think that they’re at risk, which will in turn make you less of a target.
The next thing you can do is to have Tektonic come to your side and protect you from hackers with our proven security solutions. If you can’t afford to hire an in-house IT technician to oversee your company’s network security, then have one of our professional technicians remotely monitor your network for any suspicious activity. Plus, we can provide your small business with a Unified Threat Management (UTM), which can protect your network from all kinds of online threats through a combination of a firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter. Give us a call at (416) 256-9928 to learn more.