Fortunately for you, there’s ways YOU can prevent this from happening to you and your business!
It’s all over the news. Facebook, Equifax and T-Mobile have all been victims of cyberattacks over the past year, yet while these companies are under fire for not safeguarding your information, they aren’t the only ones. Cyberattacks are a lot like an iceberg. On the surface are these high-profile breaches that generate a ton of noise when they’re publicly announced. Underneath however, hackers are going after small businesses…every…single…day.
The reasoning is simple, most small businesses are not going to have the same level of cyber security that big corporations will have. Based on a report by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 70% of hackers put small businesses in their line of sight. For them, it’s easy money. All they got to do is search for small businesses who’re not putting money into their cyber security or aren’t training their employees to spot security risks. The results are terrifying. Nearly 50% of small businesses have undergone a security breach; 3 out of 5 of these businesses never recover and shut their doors for the final time within six months.
To make matters worse, small business owners think they can withstand a cyberattack. Based on a 2017 survey by Paychex, 68% of 341 principals participating were not concerned at all about cyber threats and 33% were very confident their business could shrug off a cyberattack when it happens. Unsurprisingly, hackers responded by hitting 54% of small businesses with a cyberattack in 2018. We wonder if the number of unconcerned principals has dropped since.
In most cases, hackers don’t even have to use strange tactics and sophisticated software to gain access into your network. They mostly use three time-tested tools – phishing, ransomware and guessing employee passwords – that net them a comfortable, untraceable 6-figure income every year. Lucky for you, these tools are rather useless as soon as you take these tips into consideration.
3 Tips to Stop Cybercriminals from Accessing Your Network
The first step you must take as a small business owner is to educate yourself and your team on online security. Learn how to identify skeptical emails that enter your inbox. For example, you don’t want to open an email that’s addressed to your email username, not your actual name. Don’t open emails that seem sketchy. In some instances, hackers attach an invisible 1 pixel image they use to pinpoint the IP address where you opened the email and use that to gain further knowledge about who you are and more that they’ll make full use of for scare tactics down the road. Make it a habit to hover over links in an email to see their actual destination (visible at the bottom of your browser) before you click on them. If you notice an email is coming from someone you know but don’t recognize the email address, verify who they are through an email address already in your contact list or by other means like social media or text messaging. Lastly, do your best to never send your passwords or personal details over email.
On the topic of passwords, you may want to change yours. For most people, creating too many unique passwords and memorizing them is too tall of a task, thus they stick to one easy password they’ll remember across everything, from online banking to their business email. At first glance, this doesn’t seem too big of a problem. After all, no hacker will spend their time trying to guess TOoHaRd2GuesS as your password, especially if your company has a login restriction that requires a password reset if there are too many wrong attempts. Instead, they’ll just check through database dumps on the dark web and see if your email or name shows up. If it does, they’ll use whatever password associated with the leaked account and try it on any site they want access to. If it works, your information is up in the air for them to use at their disposal. To combat this problem and keep hackers out of your accounts, set up strict rules for creating passwords, set yourself and your employees up with two-factor authentication, and make password changes a requirement every few weeks. By taking these precautions, even if yours or any of your employees’ passwords show up in a database dump, there’s nothing a hacker can do with it.
Lastly, go through the basics every company should already have in place. Set up an antivirus software on all computers connected to your network. Put a managed service provider (MSP) who has an extensive background defending against cyberattacks in charge of your company’s online security. An MSP will monitor your network, stay up-to-date with the latest security patches and develop measures to prevent hackers from gaining entry. If by chance a crisis still manages to happen, know that your MSP will get your network back up within minutes, not days, thanks to their background and experience in the industry.
Don’t let the future of your business up to chance. By going the distance to keep your network secure, you extremely limit what a hacker can do to your business. Prevent cybercriminals from sneaking their way into your business network, get the help you need today. Start by getting in touch with Biztek Solutions today. Not only do we offer a free Dark Web scan, we’ll help you identify weak points in your network security and be right on top of them. With our help, you can rest easy knowing that your business is protected, no matter what hackers throw at it.