Recently, some of the high-profile hackers’ group Anonymous and LulzSec have terrorized a lot of businesses by causing threat to their online security.
News about attacks on leading corporations and government agencies has always been making headlines. But these biggies can afford to use cyber security analysts and sophisticated security measures to prevent or cut down the risk of threats.
On the other hand, entrepreneurs and small businesses lack the same level of defense to protect their data as they are also vulnerable to security threats in cyberspace. These days, hackers have found small business as their next soft target.
According to a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, in association with Verizon’s forensic analysis unit, the US Secret Service responded to over 761 data breaches combined in 2010, while it was 141 in 2009. Over 63% of attacks in 2010 were against SMBs with maximum 100 employees.
According to a special agent with cyber division in FBI, Dean Kinsman, cyber attacks are ever-growing concern in small businesses. It is going to be even worse than before. According to Visa, over 95% of security breaches it reveals on credit cards are on its small business clients.
The government is also worried about this serious concern. On Government Reform and Oversight, the House Committee has started hearings on preparedness of cyber security in America while major concerns are on financial security. The FCC held a discussion in May on how to protect small businesses against cyber attacks.
According to the National Journal reports, FCC officials found the loss of up to $8 billion annually for the companies in the US to cyber attacks. It may end up costing around $190,000 to small businesses. But there are some sensible and simple steps to control your vulnerability.
Here are the 7 Ways to Protect Your Business from Hackers
Use an Antivirus Program
Install an antivirus program and keep it up-to-date and running on every computer in your organization.
Be sure to perform scheduled weekly scans in every system to avoid vulnerabilities and threats.
Spread Awareness of Potential Risks in Your Staff
Have a general list of rules and guidelines behind operating and managing sensible data, including how to transfer it safely. If you have any sensitive equipment, be sure to have specific rules on managing it. If no one understands and follows these rules, these are nothing. You should keep all employees aware about such guidelines.
Set up a Firewall
A firewall is a must to protect your network from the external intruders looking for soft targets.
Backup your data
Constantly schedule and backup your data on every system, especially sensitive ones.
Watch out for threats stealing your Wi-Fi
Because it’s not your neighbor only who wants your Wi-Fi to use! So protect your Wi-Fi by making it hidden and locked. Be sure to change your password from time to time on your router and keep the password strong.
Remove all the programs that you no longer use or not trusted by any certified authority. A random media converter that you have installed about six months ago for just one task might be a loophole for a hacker to attack your system.
Avoid Attachments you don’t trust
Never open any suspicious attachment if you don’t trust and don’t know who sent it and what it is.
Even though if someone you know sends an attachment, don’t open if it seems suspicious.
Ask the person about the attachment to find out if it is generated by a virus or if they actually want to share something.