As a small business owner you are probably under the false assumption that no hacker would waste their time on a small company. Most people are under the impression that hackers reserve their spying and stealing for large corporations or government agencies. The fact is hackers go wherever they can and often choose small businesses because these offices often do not have full-time IT specialists in-house that can monitor the network activity and the system server. This makes it easier for a hacker to steal data from a small business rather than a large one.
There are several steps you can take as a business owner to help protect your data.
Train your Staff – The most common way a hacker gets into a business network is through email. By placing a virus or worm in the attachment of an email they often lure unsuspecting users to open the attachment and unleash the virus. Making it mandatory for employees to attend a network safety meeting in which you discuss the dangers of opening emails from sender’s you don’t know can significantly reduce the chances of a hacker getting into your system.
Have an Emergency Plan – The smart business owner will have an emergency plan in place should the company server or network be compromised by a virus. This may include a complete shutdown of the server so no one can get in or out which will give you time to figure out what the problem is and how widespread the damage is. With an emergency plan in place you can greatly reduce the damage a virus can do.
Get Insurance Coverage – Several problems can result from your company downloading a virus: you may experience significant downtime which can cost you a lot of money, you may be the target of lawsuits from clients who believe their personal information was breached and stolen and hold your company liable and obviously the cost to have the system repaired and the virus removed. Add it all up and it can be a very expensive problem.
Speak to your local insurance representative and find out what options are available for insuring your business against cyber attacks including liability protection, coverage for litigation expenses and business interruption. Hackers and computer viruses are everywhere and even small businesses need to understand the risks they face and what to do to protect their business against an attack.