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View the blog entries posted by James Ritter. IT blogs covering cloud, security, best practices, how-tos, and more.

Don’t Be Like These 14 Million US Businesses and Ignore Data Security

Don’t Be Like These 14 Million US Businesses and Ignore Data Security

If you run a small business, you might consider yourself a small target of hacking attacks. It might make sense to think of it in this way, but this actually is not advisable to think of it in this way. According to a recent survey by CNBC and SurveyMonkey, only two percent of small businesses see cyber attacks as anything worth worrying about. This leads us to the next question… are you one of them?

The survey results found that, despite cyberattacks being at the forefront of most news cycles, that most small businesses of under 250 employees, have greater worries than the security of their data infrastructure. Most seem to think that they aren’t a big enough target for hackers to go after, while others have more pressing concerns.

The reasoning for this change in mindset is simple: limited budgets. Large corporations might be able to spend ample amounts of funds on the latest and greatest security expenditures, but small businesses have less financial leeway, which keeps them from investing large sums of capital into something as necessary as data security. This is precisely the reason why hackers would prefer to go after a small business rather than a large organization--since there aren’t powerful security measures put into place to secure data, hackers don’t have to work as hard to obtain similar results.

For more reasoning, consider the following scenario. Let’s say that you’re a hacker and you are deciding who your next targets should be. You consider a big business with a 25% success chance. That’s not a very solid rate of success, even if hacking into a larger organization would provide you with a larger return. Now, what if you went after a small organization with about a 90% success chance? Eventually, it becomes more reliable to go after many small organizations rather than one large company.

According to CNBC, half of the 28 million small businesses in the United States have been breached at least once in their lifecycle. What a hacker is looking for in a small business can vary, but it almost always includes some sort of personal information or sensitive data. Retail organizations can often become subject to malware which is designed to harvest credentials, like credit card numbers or PINs, while healthcare organizations might be the perfect fit for hackers hoping to steal sensitive personal records.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what your small business does, you’re at risk whether you want to believe it or not. Even if your organization (somehow) doesn’t hold onto important information that could be valuable for hackers, your infrastructure could be infected with malware and become complicit with a hackers’ commands. Therefore, you have a responsibility as a small business owner to ensure that you’re protecting your business’ technology--even if it’s just so that a hacker can’t turn it against you and use it on other small organizations like yours.

It’s recommended that you implement an enterprise-level security solution like a Unified Threat Management (UTM) tool that can add layers of business-grade protection to your organization’s technology. A UTM includes a firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter--all of which are designed to take a proactive stance against the many threats found online. It’s just one way that your organization can prevent breaches instead of suffering like the rest.

To find out more about network security and how to protect your business’ future, reach out to us at 239-362-9902.

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

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