Business Internet Security: Do Small Businesses Really Need It?
Why Business Internet Security Is Important For You
The biggest rationale behind adding business internet security to your small business is one, simple, but crucial, factor—safety.
Business internet security protects you against multiple levels of threats. It doesn’t matter what size business you’re running, what industry you’re in, or what your business offers; the truth is that no small business is exempt from cyber-attacks. The repercussions of your business becoming a victim to a cyber-attack can be extremely harmful to your business’ growth, daily operations, reputation, and customer base.
Still not sure that internet security is right for your small business? Keep reading to learn about some of the biggest risks your small business could face if you choose to forgo online security.
Small businesses contain a great deal of private information—information that would be detrimental to one’s business if it leaked, was sold, or got out somehow. Think about the type of information your small business has access to such as proprietary data and customer communications.
All of that information—and more—need to be protected from hackers and cyberattacks. The main reason for someone to try to access this information is to collect customer data that can be leveraged in fraud or identity theft. As a small business, it’s your obligation to ensure you’re never putting your customers in a position where they can have their data exploited. Implementing security measures and taking the necessary steps to ensure their data is protected will be the primary difference in ensuring that your customers can trust you with their data—in the immediate future and on a long-term basis.
Not only is identity theft an issue that affects your customers, but it can also directly affect you. If someone does somehow get access to your small business’ private data, they can use it to steal the identities of you or your employees—both scenarios could be catastrophic to your business. This information can include things like name, account details, credit card numbers, or even Social Security Numbers, depending on the type of business you operate. Hackers then use this information to exploit their victims by opening fake bank accounts in someone’s name, using identities to commit other cyber-crimes, and all other types of nefarious, malicious activities.
Recovering from identity theft can take months (sometimes years), loads of money, and a lot of time. It can also take an extremely long time to rebuild your reputation and ensure clients can trust you again. By utilizing antivirus software, cloud-based technologies, and other business security products, you can prevent these damaging incidents and ensure they don’t happen. Otherwise, you’ll be investing in the clean-up that comes from a cyber incident.
A business reputation is everything. As a small business, you know this to be true—most businesses rely on repeat customers and referrals. If a system’s security does end up compromised, that can severely tarnish a business’ once sparkling reputation. In the event of a security breach, customers are likely to take their business elsewhere. People will tell others about the trouble, too, and it may create a roadblock in finding new customers in the future.
Beyond data breaches and privacy risks, hackers can also drain a company’s bank accounts. Oftentimes, they’ll hold stolen data hostage until the business pays up, essentially holding it for ransom, with the ransom fees usually being quite exorbitant—this is typically accomplished through something called Ransomware. Fixing all these issues from a technical standpoint after they’ve occurred is also incredibly expensive—and that’s without accounting for the money spent on public relations to mitigate the publicity of the issue. All of this can add up to a drastic setback for any small business—in many cases, it can even lead to foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Part of the process of recovering from being hacked or another type of cybercrime event is figuring out how it happened, then implementing stronger protective measures to avoid it in the future.
The initial problem can often stem from something as simple as an employee’s mistake—user error is often the root of much cybercrime. Though this is often accidental, the employee, or employees, responsible were probably not following basic security practices. In these instances, business owners will have to do damage control which may involve firing someone or offering additional training to all employees to ensure it doesn’t happen again – adding even more costs on top of technology investments that may be required.
Common Types of Cyber Attacks to be Aware of
By investing in your education on the wide array of cybercrimes—from malware to DNS filtering and beyond—you will be in a better position to take the right security measures to prevent them. Here are a few of the most common ways that cybercriminals are trying to infiltrate your small business:
Let’s say an employee happens to click on a pop-up window on their company computer or opens an email attachment that looks like it is coming from a reputable sender. If that link happens to be sent from a cybercriminal, clicking that link can install harmful software like ransomware, viruses, or spyware that is looking to gain access to personal information, obtain passwords, or even disrupt your entire system.
Phishing scams often come in the form of deceitful emails, social media messages, or texts that may look legitimate but are in fact sent to try and steal personal information like financial information, passwords, and can even install malware. If this happens on a company computer, it can leave your business and network in a vulnerable position.
DDoS stands for a denial-of-service attack. This occurs when cybercriminals have botnets flood your entire network with illegitimate traffic from numerous systems to wear out its resources and bandwidth. This leaves your small business susceptible to further attacks and can potentially crash your system and disrupt your entire business.
How To Protect Your Business From Cyber Attacks
Any company can experience these types of attacks, from small, mom-and-pop shops to corporate conglomerates. The good news? There are numerous security measures that can be taken to protect company data and sensitive information. By implementing the right antivirus software, security software, and other security solutions, you can ensure your business and customers are protected against hackers.
Cybercrime isn’t a static industry. In fact, cybercriminals are getting smarter, so businesses must get smarter too. Optimum offers complete packages that face all the aforementioned problems head-on. Cyber-attacks can happen at any time. That’s why we offer 24/7/365 technical support to ensure you’re always covered and always protected. Our support team can even help you find the security solution that’s right for your small business, from getting properly set up to enhancing your current security.
Not only do we offer protection features like firewall and antivirus software, but we also have added layers of security to fight the threats of malware, phishing, and DDoS attacks. Hackers are always looking to improve their techniques, and that’s why we are too. We’re constantly bettering our products and services, so our clients stay secure in this ever-changing world. Contact us today to learn more. To read more about the steps you can take to protect your small business, check out our blog detailing the 5 Best Practices for Small Business Cyber Security.