How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves From Hackers

If you read much about the world of IT security, you likely mostly see articles reporting on data breaches from larger corporations.

And that makes sense – after all, more people are impacted by a data breach at a multinational with millions of clients than one at a local mom-and-pop shop.

But all this news may lull small business owners into a false sense of security, and that can be dangerous.

While most IT security companies perform penetration tests and other security audits on large businesses, small businesses are also vulnerable to hackers, data breaches, phishing scams, and the like.

If you’re a small business owner, though, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself from being vulnerable online.

Small Business IT Security Breach: How It Happens

When it comes to a big corporate office, security is usually pretty high.

Many buildings employ a full staff of security personnel and electronic surveillance systems with the goal of keeping their staff, data, and systems safe.

And yet, social engineering tricks can still sneak their way through.

By manipulating front desk and security staff, a clever social engineer can get someone to step away from their desk long enough to slip a piece of malware onto company systems via a USB key.

Big corporations also generally have IT security practices they teach their staff.

This includes things like how to recognize a phishing email, a proper password strategy, and protocols on what devices are allowed to connect to the company network.

And yet, phishing scams are still effective, and the most commonly used password in the world is still “password”.

So if larger corporations, with all their tight security and data management strategies, can’t manage to stave off these attacks, what hope does a small business have?

A storefront with a single staff member at the front desk can easily be manipulated.

A company email address can easily have some phishing attacks that slip through the spam filter.

Any attack that hits larger corporations can hit a small business too.

Small Business IT Security

When it comes to protecting your small business from IT security breaches, the steps are similar to big businesses.

The first step ought to be to review with your staff how to recognize a phishing scam or other social engineering hack.

Most of us imagine a hacker sitting at their desk in a ski mask, banging away on an old grey IBM keyboard as dozens of strings of numbers fly past their screen like in The Matrix, cracking passwords and finding vulnerabilities in software.

This sort of thing definitely happens (though maybe without the ski mask), but it’s not as common as you might think. Far more common, in fact, is the phishing scam, the social engineering trick, or the poor security set up by the user.

In short, it’s people that cause most IT security breaches, not a programming weakness. You should also do what you can to protect your network.

While it might be unrealistic to expect you to roll out a multi-million dollar IT security plan, there are measures you can take right now which are relatively inexpensive.

Aside from training your staff, make sure your wireless network is secured with a strong password and that your router’s software is up to date.

If you run a business where customers frequently connect to your wireless network, like a coffee shop, it’s a wise idea to have a separate network for your customers.

Make sure you have a data backup plan as well. 1st Secure IT recommends the 3-2-1 backup rule. For more on that rule, see our previous article on the subject.

Contact 1st Secure IT

To a large corporation, a cyber security incident is a PR nightmare. But to a small business, such an attack can cause major issues, sometimes even bankrupting the business altogether.

If you’re a small business who’s concerned about taking your IT security more seriously, contact 1st Secure IT.

Our team of cyber security experts can consult with you, helping you discover the gaps in your security and how you can better protect yourself from the digital malcontents and bad actors of the world.

Don’t let your guard down. Contact 1st Secure IT today to keep yourself secure in an uncertain digital world.

1st Secure IT

4613 N. University Drive #323
Coral Springs Florida
(866) 735-3369

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Monday, 19 August 2019

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