... and what you NEED to do NOW to protect yourself.

Everyone gets hacked, but not everything makes the evening news. We hear about big companies like Target, Home Depot, Capital One, and Facebook getting hacked. What we rarely hear about are the little people–the small businesses that make up 99.7% of employers in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration. It’s these businesses, like you and me, who are the biggest targets of cybercriminals.

Basically, if you run a business, that business is a potential target. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, what you sell, or how popular you are. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter if you think your data isn’t valuable to hackers–it is. Cybercriminals go after everybody. In 2018, a cybersecurity survey by the Ponemon Institute found that 67% of small and midsize businesses in the US and UK were hit by a cyber-attack. This trend has grown over 4x in the wake of COVID-19.

For the cybercriminal, casting a wide net makes the most sense because it gets results. It puts them in a position where they are able to extort money, steal sensitive information, including names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers, and ultimately profit off of destroying the property, prosperity, and reputation of others.

Why do cybercriminals love to target small businesses? There are a handful of reasons why small businesses are in the crosshairs for hackers. Here are three good ones to consider:

1. SMALL BUSINESSES ARE MOST VULNERABLE

Business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives are not always up-to-date on network security, current cyber threats, or best practices in IT. They have a business to run and that’s usually what they focus on. Unfortunately, that means cybersecurity can take a back seat to other things, like Marketing or Customer Support. This also means they might not be investing in good network security or any IT security at all. It’s just not top-of-mind or they may feel that because it’s never happened to them, it never will (which is a dangerous way of thinking). In fact, in a recent survey performed by Datto, while 89% of technology providers are “very concerned” about security threats, only 28% of business owners share this concern. There is clearly a disconnect between business owners and technology professionals.

2. SMALL BUSINESSES DON’T TAKE I.T. SERIOUSLY

Many businesses do not properly secure their network because they do not feel they are vulnerable. Have you ever heard (or said), “It hasn’t happened to me, so it won’t”? They might not even take password security seriously. According to research conducted by Trace Security, upward of 80% of ALL breaches come down to one vulnerability: weak passwords! Even today, in 2020, people are still using passwords like “12345” and “password” to protect sensitive data such as banking information and customer records. Another huge vulnerability is phishing email attacks. 36% of breaches are due to a lack of diligence and training to protect accounts. YOUR STAFF are vulnerable! Secure passwords that are changed regularly and quality training for you and your team can protect your business!

3. SMALL BUSINESSES DO NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES THEY NEED

Generally speaking, medium to large companies have more resources to invest in IT security. While this isn’t always true (even big companies skimp on cybersecurity, as the headlines remind us), hackers spend less time focused on big targets because they assume it will take more of their own resources (time & effort) to get what they want (money & sensitive data). Many small businesses lack the resources like capital and personnel to put toward IT security, so hackers are more confident in attacking these businesses.

You say you haven’t had any major problems for years–or at all? That’s a bad excuse for not maintaining your computer systems! Threats are growing in number by the day. While many small businesses might think, “I don’t have the time or resources for good security,” that’s not true! You don’t need to hire internal IT staff to take care of your security needs. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg securing your network. IT security has come a LONG way in just the last five years alone. You can now rely on IT security firms to handle all the heavy lifting. They can monitor your network 24/7. They can provide you with IT support 24/7.

That’s the great thing about technology today–while many hackers are doing everything they can to use technology against us, you can turn it around and use technology against THEM. Work with a dedicated and experienced IT security firm. Tell them your business’s network security needs, and they’ll go to work fighting the good fight against the bad guys.

Ready to stand up to hackers?

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