Headlines about data breaches are always about huge enterprises or other big organisations. That doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who get hit, though. Small businesses don’t get as much notice, but they’re favourite targets for criminals. They don’t have the same resources as huge corporations to defend their data, so they look like easy pickings.
What do small businesses have that’s worth grabbing? Enough to justify the attempt. Even if criminals don’t find anything of value, they can do serious damage just by trying. Here are some things that can happen:
- Ransomware. Malware deposited on your computer scrambles the files on it. If you don’t have a safe backup, the only way to get the data back is to pay for a decryption key. Sometimes you don’t get it back even then, or you might get hit with a second round of ransomware.
- Botnet infiltration. A breach can install software that will make your machines do criminals’ work for them. They might send out spam, conduct denial-of-service attacks, or do cryptocurrency mining for their own profit. The consequences can include blacklisting of your domain, a reduction in your systems’ efficiency, and system crashes. It can take weeks or months to figure out what has happened.
- Theft of confidential data. Hopefully, you don’t store credit card numbers on your systems, but the theft of contact information can be bad enough. If customers become targets for scams, and if they can match them up with information taken from you, that’s bad for your business.
Harden your defences
Businesses of all sizes need to pay serious attention to network security. It’s a complex task, with a constantly changing array of threats. Protective measures include spam filtering, anti-malware software, regular installation of security patches, management of firewalls, and more.
A large company has an IT department to take care of these issues and security experts to guide its strategy. It’s hard for a business with a small number of employees to afford a full-time IT staff. A more economical alternative is managed services. A managed service provider will take care of IT issues, including security issues, for a reasonable monthly rate. This gives you increased confidence that your systems are running safely and less downtime from problems. Contact us to learn how we can make your network safer.