As the MD of a small business, you are under attack from hackers. Right now, extremely dangerous and well-funded cybercrime rings in China, Russia and the Ukraine are using sophisticated software systems to hack into thousands of small businesses like yours. All they want is to steal credit cards and client information, and swindle money directly out of your bank account. Take the recent Foxtons attack that made the the news, just one of many examples that are happening on a scary, frequent basis. Some are even being funded by their own government to attack UK businesses.
Too small for a Cyberattack?
Don’t think you’re in danger because you’re small and not a big target like a TalkTalk or Boots? Think again. 82,000 NEW malware threats are released every single day and HALF of the cyber-attacks occurring are aimed at small businesses. You just don’t hear about it because it’s kept quiet for fear of attracting bad PR, lawsuits, data-breach fines and out of sheer embarrassment.
In fact, the insurance company Hiscox reports that 65,000 SMEs are attacked every day, with 4,500 successful breaches, And that number is growing rapidly as more businesses utilize cloud computing and mobile devices, and store more information online. Quite simply, most SMEs are low-hanging fruit to hackers due to their lack of adequate security systems – which is what prompted this urgent post to all of you.
What to do right now
There are a few simple things you need to be doing on a consistent basis to avoid being the next statistic. They are:
- Use a strong password. I know, simple, right? But so many people are still using easy-to-guess passwords like “password” or other words or phrases. Guess what: hackers have sophisticated software programs that can try to log in to your PC, account, web site, etc., at the rate of 8 million login attempts per SECOND. If your password is easy, they’re in. Your password should contain at least 8 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, a number and a symbol (! or #, for example).
- Use a secure password manager or Two Factor Authentication system to make it harder for the hackers to breakthrough.
- Employees clicking on phishing e-mails or downloading virus-laden files is still the #1 way hackers gain access to and control of business networks. Therefore, you need to provide an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that details what employees can and cannot do with company-owned devices, files, software, etc. Even better you can implement a Managed Security Policy that prevents non-business PC use in the first place.
- Educate your employees! It’s vital that you and your employees can spot threats. You need to make them aware of how to spot a phishing e-mail or attack so they can avoid it altogether with effective Cyber Security Awareness Training.
Speak to our IT consultants to find out more about our IT security options for SMEs. Call us on 0203 005 9650 now.