“Cybercrime” – It happens to giant retailers like Target, where the personal information of 70 million customers was compromised from a point-of-sale system breach in late December last year.
It happens to e-commerce behemoths like Ebay, where the personal information of 233 million users fell victim to 2014’s biggest hack thus far.
The truth? No business is too small.
Smaller businesses are often attractive targets for cybercrime due to their weak—or often nonexistent—security measures. Here are the main reasons why:
- “We’re too small.” Hackers can target thousands of small businesses in a single batch. Techniques originally created for larger, sophisticated targets are trickling down to virtually anyone.
- “We don’t have anything a hacker wants.” Whether it’s credit card information, simple customer details, or various bits of intellectual property, all unsecured data could be seconds away from the black market.
- “We’re safe.” Simple ignorance may be the biggest issue, and the statistics don’t lie. Around 85% of small business owners feel they are safe, yet a staggering 40% don’t even have data backed up in a second location.
Within six months of a cyber attack, roughly 60% of small business will be forced to close. Don’t join that statistic. Follow these steps:
- Make sure antivirus software is up to date.
- Secure Wi-Fi networks.
- Train employees in cyber security principles.
- Use a firewall for your Internet connection.
- Backup all important data in a local drive.
- Control physical access to your computers and network components.
- Require individual user accounts for each employee.
- Change passwords regularly.
In addition to the listed tips, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides a tool for small businesses that can create and save a custom cyber security plan for your company that will address your specific business needs and concerns. It can be found at www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner.
The bottom line: Take the time to assure you’re being proactive—not reactive—in dealing with cybercrime. Also look into buying a Cyber Liability Insurance Policy to help offset the costs of a cyber crime event