Cybercrime is something that affects individuals and businesses in countries all around the world these days. From hacking agency and company websites through to spreading destructive viruses to the systems of individuals, cyber criminals have their fingers in all sorts of dubious virtual pies.
Small businesses are just one of the many targets of these high tech criminals. However, many small businesses put themselves in a very vulnerable position by assuming that cyber criminals are after the big corporations and not really interested in the small fry. However, this is a total misconception – the fact is that no individual or business can assume that they are below the radar of today’s cyber criminals.
Small businesses need to take action
Given that cyber criminals target small businesses as well as larger ones, it is important for smaller companies to avoid being complacent and to take action to protect themselves against cybercrime. A new report from police and fraud authorities in the UK suggests that cybercrime in the UK is costing small firms in excess of $1 billion a year. With this in mind, it is vital for small businesses to take steps to minimize on these risks.
Tips on protecting small businesses from cybercrime
There are a number of ways in which small businesses can better protect themselves from falling victim to this type of criminal activity. This includes:
Set up stringent password policies: Make sure management and employees are made aware of password policies. This includes choosing passwords that are not obvious, changing them on a regular basis, and not writing them down or sharing them.
Install appropriate security software: Small businesses should make sure that all computer systems and protected with appropriate security software. This means using firewalls, anti-virus software, and spyware to minimize on the risk of threats and attacks.
Do regular backups: As a small business, you need to make sure that you backup your data on a regular basis. Cybercrime is not always about obtaining money or information – sometimes malicious attacks can simply wipe your data and this could be devastating to a small business. Having a backup means that you can minimize on the effects of lost data.
Use a specific computer for financial transactions: If you conduct financial transactions on a computer that is also used for email, social media, and browsing, access is made easier for cyber criminals. It is therefore worth using a specific computer for all financial transactions and make sure it is used only for these transactions.
Take out appropriate insurance: No matter how many defences you put into place, you have to bear in mind that cybercriminals are a cunning bunch and can often get around these defences. With this in mind, you should make sure you have appropriate insurance coverage in place to reduce the losses you face if you become the victim of this sort of crime.
By stepping up measures and taking preventative action, small businesses can vastly reduce the risk of becoming another cybercrime statistic.