Hacking 101

Do you think your company is too small to interest cyber criminals? It’s not. Hackers love to attack small businesses. Learn how to protect your company from them.

More than 14 million small businesses are in danger of being hacked.  Unfortunately, many don’t take this seriously. Two-thirds of all small business owners don’t believe that hackers want to target their businesses. After all, there are so many multinational corporations out there for them to pursue. Why would a hacker waste his time on a breaking into their network?  Because it’s typically easy for them to do.

A Small Business is a Hacker’s Goldmine.

Like any other criminals, hackers want the biggest return for their time with the lowest chance of being caught. The statistics reveal the truth:

Due to the low priority of computer and network protection, hacking a small business is relatively easy.  There’s a low chance of being caught, and it still offers lucrative financial rewards.  This makes your small business a prime target for hackers.

Small businesses:

  • Are more likely to pay ransoms to retrieve locked data since few have adequate backup systems in place.
  • Are sometimes vendors for international corporations. A skilled hacker can leverage a compromised server of a small business to get access to a larger one.
  • Store personal information about employees and customers that hackers can resell or use for identify theft.
  • Also store credit card numbers and other financial records that are valuable to cybercriminals.
  • Have unsecured servers which are easy to turn into a zombie server to send spam or conduct additional hacking attempts.

How to Protect Your Business.

You shouldn’t sit back and hope that cyber criminals fail to notice your business. Fight back against hackers by developing a strong defense. Following these five tips is a great way start:

  1. Train your employees. It’s your responsibility to develop cybercrime prevention policies and ensure your staff understands them. Be sure they know the proper procedures to prevent being victimized by hacking and phishing attempts. Ensure they follow your business’ password policy, use up-to-date software, and avoiding opening or downloading unknown files.
  2. Backup your critical data every day. WannaCry and other ransom malwares have been a popular news topic over the past year. However, ransomware is nothing new. The first ransomware attack occurred in 1989 when cybercriminals used floppy disks to infect hospital computers and encrypt files with a Trojan The sophistication of these attacks has greatly increased since then. It’s essential that you consistently back up your files, and test these backups, so you can restore data if you’re hit with ransomware. While there are many solutions for backups, an off-site, automatic backup data service is one of the most reliable options.
  3. Encrypt your sensitive data.Encryption seems an obvious method to thwart hackers.  However, less than half of all companies have a comprehensive encryption plan in place. While some do encrypt the personal and financial information of their customers, (due in part to compliance laws) they are less likely to adhere to the same high standards when it comes to their own employees. Many HR records aren’t encrypted. These companies also fail to encrypt documents and data stored in the cloud. This unencrypted data is tempting to hackers.
  4. Use a segmented network. Almost everyone knows that when they go online, they need some protection against malicious attacks. While many feel safe with anti-virus software and a firewall, there are better defenses. A strong defense that’s gaining popularity is network segmentation. This involves splitting one network into several self-contained ones. IT experts do this through the use multiple firewalls that are built within the network itself. There are a number of advantages to doing this—The biggest being the ability to limit the spread of a local network failure. Another is improved IT performance.
  5. Consider cybercrime insurance. The average cost of a cyberattack is around 4 million dollars. Yes, that’s correct! And, yes, that’s a lot of money! Most can’t afford this cost, and end up going out of business. You’ve worked too hard for this. Maybe it’s time to have a look at cybercrime insurance.  It will reimburse both liability and other costs if your business is a victim of hacking.

Due to the increase of cyberattacks on businesses in San Francisco and the Bay Area, the IT experts at Intivix advise all of our clients take a look at the cyber protection plans they use. In the meantime, if you need assistance protecting your business from hackers, contact us at: (415) 543-1033 or http://www.intivix.com

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