2014 was one of the worst years for hacks, with the most infamous occurring at Sony Pictures Entertainment, costing the company in excess of $15 million. However, while hacking is no new phenomenon – the notorious online community Anonymous have been undertaking hits since 2006 – it is an issue of growing concern, particularly for businesses.
In the business world, there is a common misconception that small companies lack value and therefore, hackers primarily target large multi-national corporations or groups. In fact, research has shown that small businesses and SMEs are hit by a disproportionately large number of bots, accounting for 80% of site traffic. This is a worrying and costly statistic.
Many businesses struggle to afford protection and resources, but neglecting to invest in appropriate measures could be more costly in the long run. So what can you do to protect your small business from the effects of cyber hacks and security breaches?
Revise Security Software
Ensuring your business is protected with an antimalware and antivirus software is essential. One of the advantages here is that even for SMEs with a limited budget, there are free options available. Once installed, turn on firewalls, check for updates and complete regular scans.
Source Outside Resources
If you are worried about possible vulnerabilities in your system, it may be wise to use other resources. Rather than store large amounts of sensitive data on site, consider cloud services. Or for processing payments, take advantage of PayPal’s secure servers.
Regularly Update Passwords
As an entry point, passwords are of vital importance. Make sure usernames and passwords of all employees are complex and of a minimum length, containing case sensitive letters, symbols and numbers. It is also advisable to regularly change passwords.
Protect Your Wi-Fi
Securing your Wi-Fi is imperative. Many hackers will attempt to hit your business straight at the source, by attacking your router. To avoid this, make sure your router is protected with a strong password (again, change it regularly) and limit the connection’s visibility.
Blocks and Limits
Logically, limiting the number of accessible sites will help to limit the risk of a breach. Create a comprehensive list of trusted sites then block and prohibit the use of others. Also ensure that your antivirus software operates in-browser, to continuously scan websites.
Protecting a small business from the threat of cyber hacks is vital, as they can have devastating financial consequences. To help, implement security protocols, update systems and read about the latest cyber hacking news.