Cybercriminals pose a rising threat, in fast they may be the biggest threat that is facing your business. Their potential access to your money, accounts, and critical software, could prevent you from future growth and collaborations with clients. Although all organizations may fall victim to hacking, small and medium sized businesses are particularly at risk.
Many business owners address cybersecurity after having owned their business for some time. Some may never consider the security of their business. Even those who hire an IT service provider may still be doing themselves a disservice. Without understanding the providers solutions, and without knowing what precautions they should take on their own, they can still be a target.
Neglecting the cybersecurity of your business could be catastrophic, which isn’t a risk you want to take. To mitigate it, it’s best to gain a basic understanding of various potential hackers and how to protect your business from them.
The Types of Hackers
Hackers Who Are After Personal Information
Many hackers are after the personal information of your clients and employees. This may include birth dates, financial data, and social security numbers. Social security numbers are an especially valuable asset. Because of their many purposes and uses, they are sought after by hackers. When a hacker gains access to a social security number they can perform tax fraud, open credit accounts, and make other significant identity breaches.
In addition, financial data can be utilized for fraudulent activities and purchases, especially if it lacks robust digital security systems.
Hackers Who Want Access to Digital Infrastructure
Storage and data servers are expensive, and most hackers aren’t oblivious to the matter. In order for hackers to cut costs, they may aim to store their applications and data on your infrastructure. The better your infrastructure, the more likely cybercriminals are to target it. This can strain your network and have devastating effects on your business. This means that tech companies are a common victim of this type of hacking.
How do you know if you have fallen victim? Here are a few common indicators.
- Storage is running out, faster than usual
- Your network runs slower
- There are unknown devices on your network
Hackers After Confidential Information
Few business aspects are as important as your intellectual property (IP). Your products and services are what enable you to stand out from competitors appeal to potential clients. There are many ramifications to this kind of theft. Hackers may steal a design to an upcoming product, and even submit a patent. A competitor may obtain the information, allowing them to hit the market first and undercut your sales.
Hackers Who Want to Get Account Data
You and your IT service provider might have done enough so that hackers might not be able to obtain financial data. But what about your employees’ accounts?
If hackers compromise their accounts, this may let them run scams and gain information to disrupt your operations. For example, losing CEO login credentials could be devastating. While granting hackers access to sensitive information, this also helps them impersonate business officials. In consequence, they can solicit information from employees or clients and halt your operations. This data breach can lead to widespread confusion, impacting your businesses credibility.
Hackers Who Aim to Have Network Control
Although it may seem hackers are always after data, this isn’t always the case. They may be trying to gain control of your entire network. How do they do this? Ransomware attacks.
What does this kind of attack entail? These activities enable them to lock you out of the system and make data inaccessible until you pay a ransom. They may be initiated through phishing emails, spam, or online ads.
The average ransom amount stands at approximately $30,000, a high price for many businesses. But it’s important to consider that the loss caused by business disruption is far more impactful.
How to Protect Your Business
Now that you have become acquainted with the types of potential hackers, you’re prepared to act against their attacks. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself and your business.
Invest in Security Resources
When business owners believe they have properly equipped their businesses to defend against cyber-attacks, they don’t consider time and resources. Cybersecurity measures start with a reliable IT service provider. This also requires money and time. If businesses carefully allocate their resources their online accounts, hardware, and network will be more secure.
Train and Prepare Your Team
Most security systems have weaknesses, often times even employees are a weak spot in their security. For this reason, HR managers and CEOs should ensure their staff follows optimal security measures, both in-office and at home. Phones and laptops alike are an entryway for hackers wherever an employee is located. To introduce your employees to the best security practices, consider arranging security education and training.
There are many valuable tools you can use to fend off hackers. A simple yet effective one is two-factor authentication. This measure requires each user to verify their identity to access your system. You can use it on all business-related accounts to reduce the chances of cybercrime.
Furthermore, encourage your team members to activate 2FA on personal accounts. This way, they’ll be more likely to follow appropriate security practices, reducing the risk of compromised devices and data breaches.
Computer viruses are another go-to tool for hackers. And a great way to deal with them is to incorporate antivirus software. Make sure your built-in antivirus software is up to date. Each machine that can access work resources should rely on this software. Additionally, the user should conduct weekly antivirus scans to lessen the chances of computers getting infected by a virus.
Performing Security Checks
Checking your system is vital for optimal cybersecurity. Although Solid antivirus software offers a practical solution, you shouldn’t disregard manual scans. It’s crucial that your IT service provider does this periodically.
More specifically, check who’s accessed your network and make sure each point of access is authorized. Any suspicious activity should be promptly reviewed and rooted out. Otherwise, these red flags can prove fatal for the company.
Stay on the Safe Side
Battling hackers may not be the most exciting part of running a business, but it is nonetheless necessary. Neglecting your businesses cybersecurity makes you a target to cybersecurity attacks. Damages can range from stolen data to lost clients.
While it isn’t possible to eliminate all potential threats, adopting the outlined tactics and contacting a reputable IT service provider are great starts. Contact SimplicIT today if you’re interested in heightening your cyber security. We’d be happy to discuss personalized plans and solutions for your business.