At a time when it seems every day we hear about some new data breach or system being hacked, cybersecurity is one of the most critical issues facing corporations and businesses today. Small businesses can be hacked just as well as large companies, yet many small business owners have very little idea about how to protect themselves and their companies online. The following set of FAQs should help provide some background on this important issue.
As a small business, why do I need to be concerned about cybersecurity?
Protecting digital assets should be a top priority for businesses both small and large. You need a strong, secure system for two important reasons:
1. You need to protect your own assets. Tax IDs, social security numbers, passwords, banking information, credit card information and other personal data can all be exploited if hackers breach your system.
2. You need to protect your customers’ information. If you experience a data breach where customer’s personal data is stolen and exploited, you could be held legally liable if you don’t do everything possible to protect that information.
Is my small business really a potential target? After all, there are many other businesses larger than mine.
Actually, as a small business, you may be a prime target for cybercriminals. According to Forbes, 87 percent of small business owners don’t believe their companies are at risk—yet half of all small businesses do get hacked. Large companies may have more assets to steal, but they also have stronger safeguards in place for that reason. The question above describes the very reason why cybercrooks like to target small businesses: They don’t believe they’re vulnerable, so they do less to protect their assets. You absolutely do need to consider your business a target.
What are the most common types of cybersecurity threats?
Cybercriminals get more creative almost by the day with new schemes and viruses. However, the most common general threats to watch out for include:
• Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)—the practice of overwhelming a website with traffic and requests until the site shuts down from overload.
• Malware—Malicious viruses and software programs that wreak havoc on your computer, shut it down or take it over for the hackers’ purposes. Malware most commonly shows up in email attachments or by visiting compromised websites.
• Ransomware—A malware program specifically designed to lock up your computer and hold it hostage, usually for money. Hackers threaten to destroy your data unless you pay the ransom.
• Phishing—One of the most common types of computer theft, phishing occurs as fake emails that look like they come from legitimate companies attempting to trick the user into clicking through to a fake website and divulging personal or financial information.
As a small business owner, you may have lots of other questions about cybersecurity and how to keep your system safe. We’re here to help. Call us at 1-877-NetServ to learn more.