Cyber security is on everybody’s minds these days after the many recent hacks security breaches in the news. It seems every week we hear about more businesses databases and sensitive customer information stolen. The damages can escalate into the millions. No matter whether you are in one of the fastest growing industries to start a business or a mom and pop store in a small town you are vulnerable to computer viruses, hackers and malware.
Entrepreneurs are realizing that it is not just big businesses that hackers target your small business is vulnerable and at risk for cyber attacks as well. Industry reports state that over half of all small businesses computers and networks have been breached within the last year.
Here’s what you need to know protect your small business from hackers, malware and computer viruses.
Read our recommendation and review of the Best antivirus for business – Norton Security All in One
Hackers do target small business
Small businesses are the perfect target for hackers devious ways. They are often unprotected, have lots of customer data such as credit card numbers and passwords and are less secure and thus easier to reach. In fact, industry experts estimate those small businesses under estimate their level of risk. Over 80% of small business owners erroneously think that they will not be attacked.
Cyber attack Types
Your business will be attacked by hackers and Internet thieves to steal your data such as customer identity information and credit card numbers. Here are the common ways hackers will break into your computer systems:
Advanced persistent threats or APT
Is long-term attacks that are targeted to hack into your computer network in multiple steps to avoid being found.
Distributed denial of service DDoS
Is when a server is intentionally overloaded with many requests in the attempt to break the website computer network system
When an employee or someone with network administrative privileges use their credentials to gain access to company information that is confidential, especially common with former executives who left on poor terms. Thus you should have a detailed protocol to act whenever an employee is fired.
Malware malicious software
this is when a computer program is put into your computer to damage your system and again the hackers access.
all involve attempts to gain access through establish passwords such as the brute force attack, which means continuous guessing, the dictionary attack which combines multiple words to guess your password and keylogging which tracks user’s passwords and records them for the hackers to steal later.
This is the most common type of cyber theft, and attempt to trick you into sending your password or credit card information by counterfeit emails that look like legit companies.
This obnoxious type of malware software will, in fact, your computer and demand a ransom payment to be removed so that your data and hardware can be used again. Sometimes the thieves blackmail you threaten to publish your private information and photos if a ransom is not paid. This is the fastest-growing security breaches in 2017.
Protect Yourself with Security Software
there are different types of software for security on the market today which offer differing levels of protection for your networks.
Antivirus software is the most common and will protect you against many types of malware.
We recommend Norton antivirus as the best small business at the best price
Firewalls should be implemented with both your hardware and software to give you an extra layer of online protection. This will thwart attacks from hackers and prevent them from being able to access your or network. Some computer operating systems on the desktop such as Microsoft Windows comes with a built-in firewall. Online security experts recommend additional measures added to your routers and servers for maximum protection
Data backup is a fundamental component of cyber security because it protects and secures sensitive and essential information that could be lost or corrupted during a cyber attack. We recommend automatic nightly backup to cloud systems such as Mozy.com – for the low price of $5 per month you will sleep well knowing a copy of your data is safe on the cloud.
Encryption software should be used to protect critical data such as employee records, financial statements, and credit card information protecting it from the evil doings of hackers.
Password security software with two-step authentication is an excellent way to protect against password cracking by nefarious thieves.