Small business cyber guide: Why it can happen to you
Today, most companies use the internet to do business. While the internet brings many business opportunities and benefits, it also brings many risks. Every day in the media, we hear stories about how another organization has been the victim of a cyber-attack.
While we hear of many big businesses that have experienced major cyber breaches such as Target and Walmart, small businesses are not immune to cyber risks. In fact, there’s growing evidence that criminals are targeting the less protected organizations. In 2014, 60 percent of small businesses experienced a cyber breach. The average cyber-attack costs a company over $3-million, but the resulting loss of client trust can be an irrecoverable loss.
Police also often have limited resources so they tend to focus their time on investigating larger breaches. That’s why it’s up to business owners to be responsible for protecting themselves from potential breaches.
Below are some ways you can reduce the risk of online threats to your business:
Download software updates
Don’t ignore software and application updates. Download them as soon as they appear; they contain vital security upgrades that keep your devices and business information safe.
Use strong passwords
Make sure your passwords are made up of at least three random words. Use lower and upper case letters, numbers and symbols. Reset your password monthly to further protect your identity online.
Delete suspicious emails
Your important accounts are email and banking, and email is a common way of phishing. Delete suspicious emails without opening them as they may contain fraudulent requests for information or links to viruses.
Use anti-virus software
Viruses and malware are easy ways for cyber criminals to infiltrate your systems. Install internet security software like anti-virus on all of your devices to help prevent infection.
Educate your staff
Cyber-attacks affect the entire company. That’s why cyber awareness goes a long way to helping you stay protected. Inform your staff about cyber security threats and how to deal with them.