Small Businesses Are Often Easy Prey for Hackers
By Katie Earley, Content Manager on April 10, 2012
Sometimes being a small business can give you an illusion of safety. You may think hackers won't concern themselves with small businesses. But according to a PC World article, small businesses can be very appealing to hackers. Since small businesses often have less protection than larger organizations, hackers can easily collect vital information from hundreds of companies and bundle it together to make a profit on the black market. There is good news though: Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report [PDF download] found that 97% of reported hacks were easily and affordably avoidable. Here are some simple precautions you can take to keep your business, large or small, secure:
4 Ways to Improve The Security of Your Small Business
Change the password.
It seems so obvious, and I feel like I'm insulting your intelligence even bringing it up, but it bears repeating: Never use the default password. Point of sale systems, which are often the most vulnerable and most desired by hackers, tend to have simple passwords since multiple people use them. However, all passwords need to be non-standard. Always use a strong password with a combination of letters, numbers, capitals and symbols. And change your password regularly, especially when an employee leaves the company.
Install a firewall and keep it updated.
A firewall is your first line of defense against hackers. But installing the firewall is just the beginning. Many of our clients will take the initial step of installing a firewall, but then neglect further updates and care. The firewall needs regular routine maintenance to stay effective.
Monitor your security system regularly.
Unfortunately, no matter how much you spend, your IT security system will still need a watchful eye on it once you have it up and running. One way to do this is with our InfiniVisor Remote Managed Services. We can keep a constant check on your security situation so you can worry about more important things, like your quarterly numbers or what's going to happen on next week's “Game of Thrones”.
Educate your people.
What staff doesn't love a Lunch and Learn?! (If you provide the lunch of course!) Not everyone at your company can be an expert on computer security, so create some basic guidelines and make sure you explain them clearly to your staff.
When setting your IT budget there are a lot more fun items to spend your dollars on (tablets for everyone?!), but few things are as important as protecting your data from malicious hands. Don't neglect your virtual security because you feel your data isn't valuable to outsiders. An initial investment to decrease your risk of future headaches can save you time and money down the road.