Cybercrime is a big business, and when it targets big organisations we all see the headlines. However, it’s more likely that smaller businesses will be victims of cybercrime: well over 100,000 small and medium-sized companies reported some sort of attack in 2018, with the smallest (fewer than 50 employees) being hardest hit. These small businesses aren’t getting the media attention, but they’re certainly getting unwanted attention from criminals – why is this?
Easy Hacking Targets
Cybercriminals look at small companies and see potential weaknesses in both their IT systems and their staff. According to The Independent, some organisations consider themselves too small to be at risk or don’t see themselves as an “online” business. They have different concerns, such as finding premises – if you need offices to let Basingstoke has many options – and gaining customers. Therefore they don’t invest in a fraction of the security countermeasures that larger enterprises usually have.
Yet most companies use email, and that is the hacker’s favourite starting point: both phishing emails (where users click a fraudulent link and enter personal or sensitive information) and ransomware attacks (where a virus is installed and criminals demand money to remove it) frequently claim victims in small businesses. These attacks can be costly to fix, which can hurt a small business. Plus, if a small company is connected to a larger one, hackers may target that weak point to access the bigger, more lucrative prize.
How Can You Protect Your Business?
Make cybersecurity an integral part of your business plans. This can be as simple as installing antivirus software and implementing a password policy to ensure your employees create strong passwords and change them regularly. If you don’t have technical expertise in-house, find a provider who can do a risk assessment and highlight potential weak spots. If you’re just starting a business or looking for new premises, you can include security in your IT implementation right from the start. In Basingstoke offices to let are available for all sizes of business.
Then you need a change of mindset: yours, and your employees. Don’t assume you’ll never be a target – act as if you will. Provide training for your staff to make them aware of possible threats and increase vigilance. That’s a major step towards reducing your risks and saving your business from a potentially devastating attack.