When you think of cyber hacking, big names often spring to mind, the likes of Ashley Madison for example. But it’s not just large organisations that are at risk. In fact, its smaller organisations that will really feel the effects of an attack with unexpected downtime occurring, potential lost sales, disgruntled customers and perhaps even forced closure.
Rokenbok Education is an example recently covered by The New York times. Online criminals had encrypted company files, making them unusable unless a ransom was paid. The company lost thousands of dollars of sales. On top of this they had to reconstruct their entire business systems- taking them four days.
Although it’s not easy to calculate exactly how much this downtime will have actually cost for the small business and the figures are hard to come by, an experience like this can mean that some small companies can never recover.
So why Small Businesses?
Surely there is nothing to gain from attacking the smaller organisations out there? But simply, perhaps it is because of the pure ease in which some hackers can infiltrate smaller companies. As a smaller company, there is tendency to think about profits and growth over everything else- of course this is very important, but according to Cyber Crime expert Tim Francis, 60% of all attacks in 2014 were targets at SMEs, so putting resourcing towards this area of business is perhaps just as important.
So how can you protect yourself?
At Q2Q we would suggest an audit of your current systems to see where the weak points are. This audit get check all the areas of your business and identify which are most at risk- we can even audit your whole IT infrastructure and provide a list of recommendations on how to improve.
Possibly the most important area to keep an eye on is passwords. While this seems like an obvious thing, many SMEs still don’t take this advice into account. Hackers often analyse how we create passwords so that they can learn how to crack them- read our blog on password management to help you out!
From here on it’s the obvious things that may also get over-looked or forgotten about, firewall, antivirus updates, and unassuming member of staff. Many hacks are caused due to an employee just simply clicking a malicious website or opening a dodgy email. A suggestion from us would be to draw up some basic security guidelines for new employees to follow.
Consider outsourcing your security with a dedicated digital security provider. At Q2Q we believe this can save you valuable time and money in the long run- and perhaps even peace of mind knowing that you can think about one less thing.
Give us a call if you have any questions or doubts about your current security solutions, 01524 582 690 or [email protected]. We provide IT Support services to SMEs in Lancaster, Preston and The North West.