Cyber-Criminals & The Risk to SMB’s

Cyber-Criminals & The Risk to SMB’s

Why do cyber-criminals often target small to medium businesses? What should SMB’s be doing to better protect themselves?

Did you know that it doesn’t take cyber-criminals long to find a site or network with poor security? In fact, hackers create code that can easily scan a network for flaws and intrude through security gaps. Shocking, right?

Sensitive data is highly desirable. Even when a single hack only resulted in a few hundred sets of credit card details, that data carries value on the black market, and to the business owner who will pay a lot of money to get it back. Even if the cyber-criminal doesn’t sell or share that data, they can use it to set up online accounts and create false or duplicate identities; all of this to commit fraud and the disruption of business.

So, what makes an SMB so vulnerable to cyber-attacks, even with today’s network security solutions?

SMB negligence is the leading cause.

One thing that is not so clear is why small to mid-size businesses still have open doors in their network.

Negligence is often the case, in fact, the most popular passwords in 2018 were “123456” and “password”. For an SMB, this should be a cause for concern and yet business owners don’t always have the time to get educated and perform research that will instill proper measures and principals for better protecting their mobile devices, cloud, emails, websites, and public WiFi; therefore leaving them open and vulnerable to cyber-security attacks.

So, what is the solution and how can SMB’s better protect themselves?

With the correct security solutions enabled; such as firewalls, access lists, and two-factor authentications, many entry points become closed and more difficult to gain access to. These very basic types of protection will make an intruder think twice about attempting to gain information.

How do you ensure simple security measures are enabled?

  • Educate your staff on password complexity
  • Strengthen and encrypt your WiFi passwords
  • Do not broadcast your SSID
  • Regularly update your Antivirus and security software
  • Keep Windows up to date
  • Start implementing off-site backup and recovery

Ask your IT professional if these simple security measures are enabled in your SMB.

Conclusion.

There is no simple answer when it comes to weighing decisions around business spending, but from what you have learned here, you should be feeling a bit more informed.

With little time needed and by carrying out a few straightforward measures, you can easily cover all levels of security and protect your investment against the most common threats without the extravagant cost to your business.

Of course, an attack may never happen to you, but cyber-crime is on the rise, and if you are attacked, would you easily recover? Better yet, how many customers might you lose after an attack before you can no longer operate? Do you have a business continuity or disaster recovery plan? If the answer to any of these questions were “no” or “I’m not sure”, it might be time to talk about your network environment with a solution provider.

We have the answers.

Recommended Read: Ensuring a Safe Network. [4 min]