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Cyber Attackers are Targeting Small Business. Here's How to Protect Yours.

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    If you’ve been paying attention to the news, then you are aware that there have been several major security breaches to huge companies in the past few years. Although these hacks have been wildly covered by the media many small business owners still feel like their company is too small or inconsequential to be the target of similar attacks. However, many cyber attackers target small businesses because they often lack the knowledge and the funds to implement cyber security effectively. Major hacks, ransomware, and phishing are all on the rise, but what do these cyber attacks actually entail, and how can you protect your small business against them?

    Types of Cyber Attacks:

    Malware infections are the most common type of cyber attacks. These include adware, spyware, and ransomware.

    1. ADWARE is a software that automatically implements advertising material. This often unwanted malicious software presents unwanted advertisements to the user of a computer. The advertisements produced by adware are sometimes in the form of a pop-up or sometimes in an unclosable window.

    2. SPYWARE is a software that allows a hacker to obtain sensitive information from another’s computer by covertly transmitting data from their hard drive.

    3. RANDSOMEWARE locks critical files by encrypting all of a computer or system’s files and locking down the computer until a ransom has been paid.

    Ways a Security Breach Can Happen

    1. Insufficient security: This includes missing firewalls, and non-existent antispyware or antivirus programs.

    2. Not recognizing a Cyber Attack: A network attack can occur when a cybercriminal uses infrastructure, system, or application weaknesses to penetrate through the organization’s network. Social attacks involve tricking or baiting employees into giving access to the company’s network. An employee can be duped into giving his or her log-in credentials, or may be fooled into opening a malicious attachment.

    3. Employee Owned Devices: Many companies are allowing employees to use their own mobile devices to work on in the office or on the go. The appeal of lower hardware costs may out-weigh the potential security risks. It is estimated that 4% of all mobile devices are infected with malware. Add to that the risk that the employee is not working on a secure network, and allowing personal mobile device access to sensitive company information seems more and more like a bad idea.

    How to Protect Your Small Business:

    1. Education: make sure you understand and your employees understand how data breaches happen and what gets stolen.

    2. Security: Install a firewall as well as anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. If you don’t know how, then hire a cyber security company to do it for you.

    3. Create Backups: Backup all your sensitive and critical information on encrypted servers or disks.

    4. Background Checks: Make sure the breach doesn’t happen with your employees. Do background checks with all employees that will handle sensitive information to make sure they haven’t been arrested or convicted of cyber crimes before.

    5. Implement Protocols: Restrict data employees can access, especially if they do not need access for their day-to-day jobs; and create a policy on how to handle possible security breaches.

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