By Bob Milliken
Security Alert – Just because your company is small doesn’t mean that you aren’t a target
In fact, quite the opposite is true. For many years the average small business was an unlikely target for a sophisticated cyber attack. But, just because your company is small, that doesn’t mean it can’t net huge payoffs for attackers. Hackers are moving on to smaller and ultimately easier and more profitable thefts from small and medium-sized businesses, who’s generally lax to non-existent security systems make for easy and quick money. A concentrated series of easy attacks against more-vulnerable small businesses can ultimately enable a hacker to orchestrate a much bigger attack elsewhere.
While big business continues to be in the news, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, one in five small businesses falls victim to cybercrime each year. Big business has deep pockets with money to throw at the problem, but small and medium-businesses aren’t usually as lucky and the cost to them is much more significant. Frighteningly, cyberattacks on small business rose 300% in 2013 and, more than 31% of all targeted attacks were against SMB’s.
Why is that? First, smaller companies generally have much more vulnerable IT systems where security is minimal or average at best, and the hackers don’t get as much heat or attention when compared to trying to breach the much more complicated, state-of-the-art security systems of bigger firms and businesses. Second, the tools used by hackers and cybercriminals have become so cheap, so easy to acquire and so easy to use that one need not necessarily be a bona-fide hacker or very smart to do this.Third, small business owners assume hackers would need to pick their business out of millions of others, not realizing that the attacks are automated and focused on discovering vulnerabilities.
Why should small business be concerned about this? The cyber-theft industry has become big business and like any business is driven by revenue and growth. They will sell the information they steal from you (credit card numbers, login passwords, address books) to on-line bidders who will use the information to build their business by infiltrating and damaging targeted systems. The sad news is that, as many as 85% of business owners believe that they will not be targeted by hackers and online thieves. Few realize that it only takes one breach to compromise a company’s finances and relationships with clients. And if you have less than stellar security, stealing from you is easy.
Smart businesses plan for the unexpected. If you still have concerns about keeping your business truly safe, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we can help with options and blueprints to make your business secure. Connect with Bob at TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com, or give us a call –604.270.1730, or request a free security consultation Bit.Ly/hackertarget.
Bob Milliken is the president of Cascadia Systems Group.
Connect with Bob at TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com, or give us a call – 604.270.1730.
Your comments are appreciated – ComputerCents@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com
By Bob Milliken