No Matter the Size of Your Business, All Organizations Are Valuable to Cyber Criminals
February 10, 2023
By Anique Alam
It’s 7:33 a.m. and I’m in the back seat of my serviced Uber, reading an article about cyberattacks, and coincidentally the story of Uber comes up. As I continue reading, I realize hackers have a tendency of targeting big companies. After all, it is the enterprise attacks that make the headlines. And who would put so much effort to perform the same actions on a small business that cannot deliver the same beneficial results as can be reaped from large establishments?
I think about my friends from the small business world who must be breathing easy when they hear such news. Why should they be concerned about these attacks? They have been diligent in acquiring cyber knowledge and made smart decisions, such as investing in the best antivirus programs for their small set of 3-5 computers. And as far as their cybersecurity could be in question, this may seem to be enough. I’m left to question how anyone could be interested in making them a target. As some of my small business clients say, “believe me, nobody wants what I have.”
At some point in the past this may have been a valid way of thinking, but cyber criminals have proven they do not discriminate. Today, it does not matter what size or kind of business you run; your data, your systems and your business are all at risk.
Why Every Organization Is a Target for Cybercriminals
Cyberspace is a dangerous place, and we are there because the technology forces us to walk that way. Small businesses face threats similar to those faced by large businesses and governments as a whole. Cyber criminals don’t care who you are or the quantity of your data; they care accessing your information for their benefits or purposes. They use scanners on the internet to locate businesses with weak defenses and when they find you, they show no mercy. If you have a computer and internet, you are at risk. While you may think you are safe due to your size, it is likely just a matter of time until you are attacked. You may assume your data would not be of interest to a hacker, but what if they are not trying to steal your data or sell it? Some attacks seek to encrypt your data and hold it for ransom, preventing you from running your business unless you agree to meet their ransom demands? You may think your data is not worth much, but think again; it may be enough for a lucrative deal in the black market.
Small Businesses Are No Exception to Cyberattacks
The digital technology world is in a constant state of war with the dark side of its own realm. It is vital that all organizations safeguard their confidential information from malicious attacks. Small businesses have become an easy target because of their restricted financial budgets, few staff members and constrained resources, which all sum up to an environment ripe for attack. If your business does not have efficient cybersecurity protocols in place, you are exposed to cyberattacks which could result in reputational loss and/or financial repercussions. Now more than ever, it is imperative that small business industries comprehend the dangers associated with data breaches.
Which raises the question: if small industries are regularly the subject of malevolent cyber breaches, what must be done to prevent or mitigate these risks?
Basic Steps to Secure Your Business
You can start by ensuring your network access points are secure and user accounts have multi-factor authentication enabled, along with the utilization of strong passwords. You can also implement protocols so your data is regularly backed up and stored securely in an external location to safeguard against any potential data loss or theft.
As technological advancement and utilization have become increasingly imperative in the corporate sphere for businesses to remain competitive, organizations must appreciate why safeguarding their data is of utmost importance.
One of the chief motivations for companies to implement information security protocols is to lessen potential losses, resulting from either deliberate or unintentional data theft, or cyberattacks. Companies can reduce the likelihood of confidential information being exposed or compromised by enforcing appropriate security protocols and preventive measures. Furthermore, the implementation of security systems can facilitate confidence in customers, thus leading to increased sales and improved customer fidelity. Additionally, a safe and secure infrastructure will help businesses comply with authorized organizations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR“).
Take the Initiative: Start Protecting Your Business
Customers want to know that you take steps to preserve the protection and security of their data, thereby generating a more favorable likelihood for them to engage with your business.
Strong cybersecurity is essential for organizations of every size. What steps will you take to protect yours?