Cyber security has been the cornerstone for companies as they start exploring the ever-stretching virtual landscape. With data becoming the most valuable asset, it has become imperative to make rational investment in cyber security solutions to avert any unforeseen loss.
You may have come across numerous news pieces unveiling shocking stories of how big beats are attacked by cyber criminals with the likes of Yahoo, Equifax to name a few. However, there is no lesser threat for small companies either and statistics suggest the same.
As per the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses report, the percentage of victimized small businesses in the last one year has soared from 55% in 2016 to 61% in 2017.
We helped out at least six businesses within Auckland in 2017 and 2018.
This may surprise many companies out there but the numbers make it clear that small companies have to be equally alert about the growing menace of cyber criminals. Whilst large companies are up in arms to beat cyber-attacks, it is the fresh breed of entrepreneurs who would have to come in terms with the many changes happening on this front.
Cyber criminals seem to be deliberately targeting small companies since they are easy victims. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that the small and medium companies are their practice ground to catch a big fish later. Also, it continues to create the buzz they want for themselves to create fear amongst the bigger companies.
For smaller companies, it is probably a matter of getting caught in the line of fire without giving any time to put the guards on. All this results in massive financial loss excluding the dent on the psychological strength.
According to the same report that was quoted earlier, the average malware-related costs for small and medium-sized businesses was $2,235,000 in 2017.
This is massive to say the least; we can’t even gauge the proportion for the years to come. It is surely going to dent the motivation of many aspiring entrepreneurs. Right ?
The least small companies can do is arm themselves with seething information and knowledge to beat the creeps out, and continue with their ambitious growth plans. To begin with they need to undertake training through online IT security courses which are nothing less than a powerhouse of knowledge encompassing basic knowledge to practical guidance to improve cyber security of your small company.
Vulnerable Areas For Hackers?
Small companies often underestimate themselves as the potential victims of professional hackers. However, hackers continue to target the small players to gain an edge over others.
As technology has engulfed possibly every aspect of the business, any communication, personal or professional, is likely to be under watch. The growing connectivity calls for ramping up cybersecurity solutions lest you will be at the losing end
Let us find out three such areas which might become the potential door for cyber criminals to make their way into your small company:
- Growing Influence of Internet of Things (IoT)
The ubiquity of Internet of things does not surprise anyone. It connects millions of devices to stimulate data and information exchange. However, there is another side to it. The network, comprising of multiple devices, is plagued by privacy issues that run deeper than what we can think of sitting amid it.
As per Tripwire security researchers found the Google Home and Google Chromecast could leak location data through unauthorised network connections.
Ranging from your door bells, GPS, digital cameras, or medical devices, all these devices are easy target for cyber criminals. Much to your shock, it’s pretty an easy walk for hackers to access the admin credentials and get unethical access to install spurious malware into your system.
- Outdated Software
It is nothing less than a sermon from cyber professionals to keep the software updated. Cyber criminals keep a close tab to smell the security holes to launch their attack. Keep yourself aware of all the latest patches lest you may end up surrendering the network security of your company. It is just a matter of keeping yourself secured else others will take undue benefit out of your weak spots.
- Lack or absence of employee training
Employees form of the core of your entire organization, regardless of the size. Do not keep them out of the loop; educate them about the many possibilities they might put their company into with a careless action of theirs. For instance, sharing passwords with outsiders, inadequate attention to security alerts so on so forth. They are the facilitators of the company resources and hence must be trained to identify and eliminate any potential sources of cyber-attacks.
To wrap up …
This is just a tip of the iceberg and there are lot many areas wherein your company might be keeping window open for hackers to peep in and steal the valuable assets causing mammoth financial and brand image loss.
Do not let the cyber threat scare hampers your spirit and instead rise before you hit the bottom. Make cyber research NZ and Hire IT security professionals that can guide you through the entire process with their amassed knowledge and expertise to design security solutions for your small company.