Many small business owners always think that they are in a corner no one is interested in so the likelihood of them suffering data breaches, are minimal. Unfortunately, the reality has proven most of these sentiments wrong because small business owners have suffered losses as a result of security issues. As they always say, you are never too small to be targeted.
In order to start realizing tangible gains, business owners must get past the mindset that cybercrime is only for the big and famous businesses and as such can’t happen to them. Cyber criminals are going against the grain and looking for targets that are much easier to execute and this by extension places small businesses on the bull’s eye. This is because these businesses are increasingly becoming digitally oriented.
Most of the information stored by small businesses including credit card transactions and customer data is computerized and in digital format. Also, small businesses tend to have lesser resources including inadequate technical expertise and this in itself makes them electronically insecure and exposed. In 2010, Verizon conducted an investigative research involving 761 data breaches. Shockingly, 63% of these cases involved small businesses that had less than 100 employees.
How the Data Breach is Committed
Businesses face a lot of security threats and this makes it a little bit harder for them to develop a system of defense against the threats. Cyber criminals use a number of tools to scan the internet and get to systems that have vulnerabilities. Some of the targeted weaknesses include default passwords and user names, insecurely configured systems among other issues. Thanks to the high speed internet connections businesses and individuals have, it doesn’t take long to find vulnerabilities.
Retail businesses also face the challenge of vulnerable point of sale systems. Some of the systems software are directly connected to the internet and business owners or their employees download updates to these systems regularly. While this is important, most of these systems fall prey to malware infections. Even for those who use remote access software, any person who gets the password can easily gain access to the system and cyber criminals have leveraged on this to get their way into business data.
Data breaches are costly and can potentially put a company out of business. IT companies like Dell haveexperienced firsthand how the cost of fraud including the subsequent lawsuits can exert immense financial pressure on businesses. This experience has helped in developing security products like the Dell SonicWALL.In order to save your skin as a business, the following are some of the recommendations you can adopt.
- Try as much as possible not to use remote access software. If it’s a must that you use, then the best approach is to invest in an application that gives you remote access through VPN connections.
- Be extremely careful on downloads especially eBooks, videos, software, and other material. Malwares normally accompany such downloads.
- Businesses using point of sale systems should never allow access to the internet through the POS software. The only capability that is necessary is for the POS to transmit customer data and nothing else.
Security improvements cost much less when they are done before the breach than after.