When a large company gets hit with ransomware or suffers a data breach, no one ever really stops to think about how the company will be affected and/or the financial losses that they will acquire. For months, these attacks can amount to over millions and millions of losses. And while large companies can often sustain the expenses and remove negligent staff, most small businesses cannot. In fact, when the same thing happens to a small business the affects can become fatal.
Going Out of Business
The average small business is no safer than any large business when it comes to being the target of a criminal attack. In reality, small businesses are less secure and less protected to even know when the attack is occurring. There is no red light that will flash when someone is stealing your data. The average time to detect a breach at a large business is 8 months, while in a small business, it is several years. Criminals will siphon off data slowly and steadily without you ever knowing - The reason is, they don’t want to be detected!
If a small business is attacked through a data breach, malware, or ransomware it is likely that it may go out of business. You, as a small business owner, need to take responsible action to prevent this.
How to Mitigate the Risks
Competent computer security used to be only installing anti-virus software and waiting for it to tell you when a virus is found. No virus, no worries! However, those days have long passed. The attacks seen today move way too fast for anti-virus software. Furthermore, other types of hacking involve the process of obtaining the information while it is being transmitted.
Small businesses make several mistakes. First, they rely on off the shelf firewalls bought at local stores or off of Amazon. These are not firewalls, they are just devices to connect you to the internet. They have no ability to detect an attack or even really stop one. Obtaining a firewall requires professional advice.
Second, the data small businesses have is often not properly backed up. This is why ransomware is so effective. It relies on the fact that your valuable data is not properly backed up. So, for $500 maybe you would be willing to pay to get it backed? Professional advice is also essential to properly back up the valuable data within your business.
Lastly, you need to start using password managers with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). If you are a small business you most likely use several cloud-based applications, such as your CRM or accounting software. These applications need to be setup to use MFA. This will keep the attackers away from you and focus on someone else.
Build walls around your business and secure any doors with backups and MFA. You will be more secure in the future and do a lot more to mitigate any risks that you may face.