Hackers are striking out at small businesses. In fact, cyber attacks against small companies have tripled in recent years.
Why? Hackers know that small businesses can tend to have weak cyber-security systems. In addition, a small business with Fortune 500 suppliers or customers may be seen as a potential gateway to the larger companies’ systems.
To make matters worse, small firms may also face threats from their own employees.
A worker on the brink of quitting to start a competing business might steal customer contact lists. Another staff member, curious about fellow workers, might find a way to view sensitive HR files.
Worse still, an internal hacker might gain access to company emails—including those of senior management—and might leak critical competitive information.
The solution? There are several, says James Ebright, a former security guru at Verizon. He recommends the following:
1. Make sure you update all software—and not just anti-virus solutions—regularly. New cyber dangers arise almost daily, and keeping software updated can block the latest threats.
2. Maintain logging information. This tells you who is going where and when. Armed with such knowledge you’ll know who accessed your system, when, and from what IP address, enabling you to take action quickly to stop unauthorized access and report the hacker to authorities.
3. Use a web proxy server to block employees from visiting risky sites. And maintain internal activity logs so you know who on your staff is going where and when online.
4. Hire an outside computer consultant so you can focus on core competencies and let experts handle your computer security.
5. Educate employees about their roles in guarding against cyber risks. Train them to go beyond just using hacker-unfriendly passwords; make sure they’re aware of how their online behavior can put your company at risk.
Small businesses wishing to prevent hacking should take these steps and take them now. With hackers increasingly targeting small businesses, tomorrow might be too late.
Contact us today, if you are in need of employee policy and training updates that help support your cyber security efforts.
Want more tips? Check out this video by Intel Security: