Dim the lights. Set the alarm. Lock the doors. It's a nightly ritual for most small business owners. The thud of the deadbolt and the alarm that rushed you out, are reassuring sounds that things are safe. But an unsuspecting security threat lurks online and is often overlooked.
How are you protecting your business from cyberattacks?
Why are businesses leaving these doors unlocked online? A Towergate Insurance infographic revealed 82 percent of small business owners don't think they're at risk of a cyberattack, because they "don't have anything worth stealing."
Whether your business is family-run or an emerging enterprise, chances are you have some client-related information. It could be home and email addresses. Or maybe it's credit card numbers. Either way, hackers are taking advantage of the "I'm too small to be a target" excuse.
Phishing for Information
The ultimate goal of most every cyberattack is to compromise or steal sensitive data. A cyber threat can take many forms, but one of the most common threats to small business is spear-phishing.
A 2015 Symantec Intelligence Report stated that 38% of spear- phishing targets companies with 250 or less employees. As compared to companies with over 2,500 employees, who are only targeted 25% of the time.
What is Spear-phishing?
Spear-phishing uses deceiving email to trick you into opening unsafe content. Phishy emails disguise themselves as people or companies you know. They may use fake logos or personal info. (found on social media ) to convince you to open an attachment or URL that contains malware.
Malware, is any "malicious software" designed to gain unauthorized access to your computer.
How do I ensure cyber security?
The most basic "lock and key" security is to install antivirus software to all business devices. Antivirus programs work to find and contain malware already on your computer. Installing additional firewalls " fortifies your walls" to prevent future attacks.
Installing your own antivirus and firewall is a good first step toward cyber protection. But software requires constant maintenance (updates and patches). An out of date software is like securing shop with a rusted lock.
Cybercriminals are constantly discovering vulnerabilities in antivirus software. Think: would you install your own alarm system?
According to research by software security group, Kaspersky Lab, small- to medium-sized businesses spend, on average, $38,000 to recover from a security breach. It's easy to assume you're being safe online, but something as simple as opening your inbox can put your business at risk. Stay secure. Infosystems can help.