How to protect your business from hackers especially when the business is small? You’re starting your own business from your bedroom, or maybe from a cheap office, you’re renting in town. Hackers won’t care about you, right? Wrong.
Sadly, this is one of the biggest mistakes that small business owners make when it comes to IT security. With only the big, scandalous hacks and breaches of big names like EasyJet,
LinkedIn, or eBay making the news, it’s easy to assume that hackers only go after the big names. And it makes sense why they would – more business, more money, more data, and so on.
The truth is that your SME is even more at risk. And if you’re wondering why then it might be because of you. Sorry to break it to you, but most small businesses get hacked because of good old-fashioned cluelessness on the part of the people running them.
In the United States, a survey carried out by the National Retail Federation found that over sixty percent of small and medium-sized businesses believed that they were at absolutely no risk of being hacked. Yikes. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 by the UK Government, 65% of medium businesses reported attacks or cyber breaches in the prior twelve months.
If there was a Venn diagram of the percentage of small to medium business owners who believe there is no risk of them getting hacked, compared to the percentage of business owners who’ve been hacked, it would probably be a perfect circle.
The good news is you can avoid malicious hackers by simply being ready for it. And yes, it’s a question of when, rather than if somebody is going to attempt to break into your small business and steal all your data.
Why Do Hackers Make a Beeline for Small Businesses?
Cybercrime is on the rise, and nobody is safe, including businesses, organizations, companies, and even individuals that hold any kind of sensitive data such as personal information and financial information. It makes sense that hackers might go after the larger, big-name businesses of the world since undoubtedly, they’re going to have much more of this available. But often they don’t, and smaller, inconspicuous businesses that nobody really knows of the outside of their hometown are the biggest victims.
Why? Simple answer: It’s easy. Hackers are lazy, and any information is good information. It’s the same reason why burglars break into poorly secured houses rather than the jewelry warehouse with alarms, CCTV, a guard dog, and security patrolling the area. It’s just too much work to try and get in. The same principle applies to hackers and small businesses. Cybercriminals know that the big companies are going to be ready for them, while the smaller companies are probably completely oblivious to the risk.
How to protect your business from hackers?
How to Keep Hackers Out of Your Hard Work? Working hard to build a business, no matter how small it is, only to have it obliterated by cybercrime is devastating. Hackers do not care that your business is feeding your family and paying your mortgage; they only think about themselves. And the effect of a data breach can be the death of a small business. You might lose money. Your customers might not trust you anymore. You might end up with a reputation of ‘the business that got hacked’ if you even manage to continue trading at all. You definitely want to avoid this. Here’s how.
1 – Work with IT and Cybersecurity Professionals
Most business owners are not IT professionals. Many have basic computer skills but a lot of great sales and customer service skills, which are amazing for building relationships with your customers but not exactly what you need to prevent hacking. You may have heard or read a lot about why outsourcing different professionals to work on various areas of your business is a good idea. If you can only afford one, go with IT. Get the very best outsourced IT support on demand, and make sure that you’re investing your money in keeping your business safe from cybercrime.
2 – Change all Your Basic Passwords
Your child’s name with 1234 and an exclamation mark at the end isn’t a ‘strong password’, even if it’s accepted as one when you’re creating an account. Using your own name, or your business name combined with the date you started trading is a bad idea and you should change any passwords like that right now. If remembering your passwords isn’t your strong suit, there are password managers you can use to keep them all securely stored in one place that only needs your fingerprint or your face to get into them. Hackers have access to tools that can and will guess your basic password, so don’t take the risk.
3 – Train Your Employees
Phishing is a deadly and very common method that hackers will use to get access to your small business data. Usually, they achieve this by fooling a poor unsuspecting member of staff. They might get an email that appears to be from you, asking them to remind you of the login details for your CRM or click on a link to sort something out with getting paid into their bank account. They reply and all hell breaks loose. You’ve been hacked. You can’t invest too much into staff cybersecurity training. Make sure that everyone knows what they are looking for. Even if you only have one employee on your books, that’s one employee who could fall foul of a hacker’s tactics, so arm them with the knowledge they need to keep the company safe.
4 – Be Careful Who You Work With
Did you know that lots of big, newsworthy data breaches started elsewhere? One of the main ways that hackers break into these heavily protected systems is through suppliers and other vendors that they work with, that aren’t quite as secure. Vet anybody that you work with carefully and ask those difficult questions about their security. It’s just not worth taking the risk that comes with working with any company that could provide a weak link for hackers.
Each year hundreds of business owners think that a data breach or cyber-attack won’t happen to them, and each year, hundreds of small and medium businesses are attacked. Small businesses can’t afford to overlook cybersecurity any longer. Any penny you spend on keeping your business safe from hackers is a penny well spent and invested in your future success.
A small business owner’s guide to keeping hackers at bay. By investing in the best cyber security in the market, you can protect your business from malicious hackers and prevent any data breaches. When creating passwords for your business, it is important to take into account that hackers will be able to easily crack these passwords. To make sure that your data is safe, it is recommended that you use a strong password that is different from your personal password. You should also train your employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Lastly, be careful who you work with, as they may be able to exploit a vulnerability in their system. Hope now you know how to protect your business from hackers.