By Bob Milliken

Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

Is your company’s data at risk?  

I’ve said it before and I will say it again… no business is immune to data theft and loss, regardless of geography, size or industry sector. Cyber criminals now have a bull’s-eye on small business and if you are a small business owner you should be concerned.

Here are some things to consider when planning your defense strategy;

  • Do you keep databases with information about other people?
  • Do you allow teleworkers, road warriors, suppliers, contractors and so on to connect in remotely?
  • Do you accept payments, for example from credit cards? Do you make payments of your own online?
  • Do you keep important business or personal data – tax returns, bills, receipts, pay slips and so on – on your computer?

Here are four common ploys used by hackers – and how you can fend them off:It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business, a SoHo business, or even just a home user, chances are that you can identify with one or more these.  So what can you do to beat the bad guys?

Phishing – A really legitimate-looking e-mail urges you to click a link or open a file that triggers a malware installation on your computer.

Best Defense: Don’t let anyone in your company open files or click links in an e-mail unless they’re certain who it came from.

Patching – failure to patch your systems makes it easy for hackers to break in. The advantage goes to cyber-crooks since they have had the time to fine tune their attack code for old exploits.

Best Defense: Patch early and Patch often – period!

Cracking Your Password – Hackers can run programs 24/7 testing password combinations. The easier your password is to guess, the more likely it is they’ll crack it.

Best Defense: Consider using a password manager that generates and stores tough-to-crack passwords. For extra security, use unique passphrases for financial accounts in case the manager gets hacked. You may also want to consider the use of two factor-authentication.

Drive-By Download – You visit what appears to be an innocent site; yet when you click, your device gets hacked – and you may never know it, until it’s too late.

Best Defense: Make sure your browser is up-to-date, or use one that updates automatically, such as Firefox or Chrome. Internet Explorer users have been found to be most vulnerable to these attacks. AND always be sure that site you are visiting is the one you actually want.

Let us help! Smart business owners will want to be sure that they have all of their security bases covered. Through September 30, call our office and receive a FREE 15-Point Cyber-Security Audit by our highly trained team of IT pros that will uncover gaps in your company’s online security.

 Bob Milliken is the president of Cascadia Systems Group. Connect with Bob at, or give us a call – 604.270.1730. Your comments are appreciated –