We hear it all the time from small businesses: “We thought cyber attacks only happened to big businesses.” Unfortunately… that’s not the case.
According to a recent report, almost two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) suffered at least one cyber attack over the past year. Read that again. Almost two-thirds.
But it gets worse.
More and more businesses are also experiencing repeat attacks, with 87% reporting at least two successful attacks over the past year. And on average, a company suffers almost five successful cyber incidents.
The question is, why are these attacks happening, and what can you do to prevent them?
The most common types of cyber attacks that businesses face are malware and ransomware.
Malware is malicious software. It invades your system and can cause all sorts of problems, from slowing down your operations to, most commonly, silently stealing your data.
Ransomware is even more dangerous as it encrypts your stuff, making it impossible for you to access it unless you pay a ransom fee. We see it all too common in Gainesville. This can be devastating for any business and can lead to significant losses and downtime.
So how is this becoming more of a thing?
One reason is the rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This means employees using their personal devices to access company information… which can be risky. You don’t know if they already have malware… and then plug it into your network.
Another factor is the explosion of productivity apps, which can create security vulnerabilities if not properly secured.
Finally, the number of devices we’re using now, including smart devices, means there are more entry points for cyber criminals to take advantage of.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect your business. Here are five solid security steps you can take.
- Use strong passwords: Passwords are your first line of defense, so make sure they’re strong and unique. Better yet, use a password manager that can create and remember randomly generated passwords.
- Keep software up to date: Software updates often contain security fixes, so make sure you’re always running the latest version. This applies to both your operating system and all applications you use.
- Train your staff: Educate your employees on how to identify phishing emails and other scams. You can also run regular security awareness training sessions to keep everyone up to date.
- Backup your data: Doing this means if you do suffer a cyber attack, you can restore your systems quickly and with less disruption.
- Use antivirus software: This can help protect your systems from malware and other threats. Make sure you’re running a reputable and up-to-date solution.
Remember, like with anything… prevention is always better than cure. Take action today to help you stay protected.
And if that seems like a lot of extra work, we can help with all of it. Give us a call at (352) 328-3333.