As we turn more and more to computers to do our business, we expose ourselves to the threat of cyber attacks that can compromise companies to the point of no return. Perhaps surprising to some, hackers frequently target small to mid-sized businesses, many of which are forced to cease operations after attacks leave them legless.
Hackers are frightening: innovative, determined, and clever, and their attacks are especially insidious, breeding distrust and anxiety within a company’s employees who suspect each other of embezzlement and begin to view their coworkers as possible thieves and liars. It’s no wonder so many companies shut their doors after falling prey to virtual theft, unable to pick themselves up after so much insecurity; additionally, information, unlike money or other valuables, can exist in multiple places at once and cannot ever be completely retrieved or “re-stolen.” There’s no guarantee that the stolen information, which often includes identities, will ever be secure again.
You don’t need to play into thieves’ hands. For starters, any sort of unified plan will give you a leg up over almost any given small business, the majority of which lack any sort of online security plans, assuming (unfortunately incorrectly) that cyber attacks are isolated, rare incidents unlikely to affect companies of their scale. Inform your employees of quick, easy ways to prevent cyber attacks, such as installing software updates as soon as they become available and contacting other companies and retailers directly rather than opening suspect links in emails and texts. Password-protect your networks and set out a clear, cohesive security plan everyone is on board with. If funds allow for it, bring in an expert on cyber security. It’ll be a worthwhile investment considering the heavy toll attacks take on companies; of all small businesses that are victimized by hackers, 60% disband within half a year, typically due to a loss of leadership.
The intention of this article is not to spread doom and gloom, but it always helps to be aware when client information is on the line and multiple identity-theft is becoming more commonplace. A new age and new perks naturally bring new risks.